Brazilian head coach receives a medal from Mr. Ary Graca Filho
Rio de Janeiro, July 31, Brazil – It will be an unforgettable Happy Birthday celebration for Brazilian head coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes here Friday as the Olympic champion saw his players beat Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-22, 25-17 and 25-17) in both teams debut in the FIVB World Grand Prix 2009. The match was played at Maracanazinho Gymnasium, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the stage of Pool A of the Preliminary Round of the competition, which also reunites teams from the United Stated and Germany, who will face each other in the first day of matches.
Between first and second sets of the match, the head coach, which completed 55 years old, received by the hands of Brazilian Volleyball Federation president, Mr. Ary Graca Filho, a copy of the gold medal conquered by Brazilian in Beijing Olympic Games 2008. The match against the Puerto Rican was the 200th of Jose Roberto as head coach of Brazilian female team with the Olympic champion achieving an amazing 179-21 win record.
Brazilian opposite Sheilla Castro was the top scorer of the match with 13 points, followed by teammate Fabiana Claudino, who scored 10. Wing-spiker Aurea Cruz, from Puerto Rico, team that made its first match in the World Grand Prix history against the Brazilian, also scored 10 points.
Helped by good serves of Aurea Cruz Puerto Rico scored the first two points of the match, but Brazil did not take a long time for tying the set in the third point. With middle-blocker Thaisa Menezes spiking powerfully, reigning Olympic champion went to the second technical timeout in the lead: 16-13. By the hands of wing-spiker Natalia Pereira, who replaced Sassa, Brazil scored 23-20 and got close to the win. In the end, Puerto Rican wing-spiker Yarimar Rosa spiked out and confirmed Brazilan victory: 25-22.
The 4-2 Brazilian lead in the beginning of the second set made Puerto Rican head coach Carlos Cardona ask for a timeout. The instructions succeed and the Caribean team tied the match (5-5) with a serve point of middle-blocker Sheila Ocasio. However, with eight straight points, Brazilian scored 13-5 and had the calm to keep the lead until the end of the set, that what closed in a spike of opposite Joyce Silva: 25-17.
Brazilian wall built by Olympians Fabiana and Sheilla gave the South American a three-point lead in the beginning of the third frame stopping Yarimar Rosa: 5-2. The advantage increased to six points when Puerto Rican Aurea Cruz spiked out of bounds, putting 13-7 to Brazil in the scoreboard, and then to nine in the second TTO: 16-7. In the end, Thaisa spiked in the middle to seal Brazilian win: 25-17.
In the second match day, here Saturday, Brazil will play against Germany while the Puerto Rican will face Beijing silver medallists from the United States.