2005 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

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Top six remains unchanged

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 2, 2005 – China, Brazil, Cuba, Japan, Italy, Netherlands remain in the top six following day two action of the second week of the 2005 World Grand Prix Preliminary Round. The top five teams plus hosts Japan will advance to the final round and following Saturday’s play, where the Netherlands were the only top six side to lose, the finalists are starting to sort themselves out.
Pic: Students Gym is packed for Japan v Korea in Seoul
In Macau, world number two Brazil charged to their fifth straight win of the Preliminary Round with another convincing performance - this time a 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 26-24) win over Germany in the opening match of day two of the Macau leg in China. Jaqueline Carvalho top scored for the defending champions with 16 points while Germany's captain Cornelia Dumler did her best to lead her troops with 15 points. Olympic champions China did the same by beating beat Poland 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-14) to go top of the table, ahead of Brazil and Cuba on point ratio difference.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands, ranked 14th in the world, played out of their skins to push Olympic bronze medallists Cuba to five sets before losing 3-2 (20-25, 25-19, 25-22, 22-25, 15-13) in over 100 minutes of sensational Volleyball in the opening match of day two action in Manila. The Netherlands are now sixth with a 3-2 record. In the second match in Manila, world champions Italy beat Thailand 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-18) for their third win of the tournament.

In Seoul, USA collected their second victory of the tournament after producing a stunning comeback to beat the Dominican Republic 3-2 (23-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-16, 15-6) in just short of two hours in the opening match. After a slow start, the world number three Americans eventually got into gear to keep the Dominican Republic winless. The second match of the day saw Japan complete an outstanding 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-13) win over Korea for their fourth win in five matches.

Current standings after three matches: 1) China 2) Brazil 3) Cuba 4) Japan 5) Italy 6) Netherlands 7) USA 8) Germany 9) Korea 10) Poland 11) Dominican Republic 12) Thailand

After three weeks of Preliminary Round action, the top six teams will enter the Final Round in Japan to play for the honour of 2005 World Grand Prix champion.