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Italy top Pool B, Brazil and Serbia & Montenegro win
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 18, 2005 – Last year’s three World League medalists Brazil, Italy and Serbia and Montenegro all collected crucial victories on Saturday beating Portugal, France and Argentina respectively in the latest matches of Round Four of the Intercontinental Round.

Defending champions Brazil welcomed Olympic stars Giba and Gustavo back into their side for the first time in the competition however, the Olympic and world champions were still not at their vintage best despite beating Portugal 3-1 (26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 25-18), playing at home for the first time, in front of nearly 20,000 screaming fans in Brasília.
Pic: Hugo Gaspar (21 points) from Portugal, tries to find a hole in the Brazilian defence as Brazil beat Portugal 3-1 (26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 25-18)
Despite the disappointing on court performance, Brazil still showed glimpses of their class and their fighting qualities were best illustrated in the first set when at 24-20 down, with Anderson at the service line, Brazil scored six successive points to claim the set. The victory sees Brazil go top of Pool A with six wins in seven matches while Portugal are now confined to second place with a 5-2 record and sets up the second game, which is the FIVB’s television “ match of week”, on Sunday 13:00 GMT as another critical contest.

"We were very inconsistant,” Brazil coach Bernardinho said. “The best thing of this game was the bravery and determination of the team in the first set"

Meanwhile, in Lyon, an incredible 26-point haul from Michal Lasko helped Italy beat the home side France 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 15-13) for their second successive victory over their European neighbours to move ahead of Cuba at the top of Pool B. France stay in third place with a 3-5 record just ahead of Bulgaria, who play Cuba in their final match on Sunday.

In Pool C, a typical game-high scoring effort from Ivan Miljkovic led Serbia and Montenegro to an impressive 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-21) win over Argentina.

Miljkovic’s 19 points marked his first appearance in the 2005 World League along with fellow experienced stars Andrija Geric and captain Nikola Grbic.

Despite their early rustiness, the final three sets saw them combine well with their younger teammates to give last year’s bronze medalists their third win in seven matches while resigning the South Americans to their fifth defeat.
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