San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 27, 2011 – Nine-time champions Brazil opened its FIVB World League campaign by outclassing hosts Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-16) in front of more than 4,000 spectators at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan.
“Giba” Godoy led the Brazilian team with 13 points, including three blocks, and Leandro Vissotto and Joao Bravo added 12 and 10, respectively. Hector Soto and Victor Rivera recorded tallies of 11 and 10, respectively, for the local side and Jose Rivera chipped in with nine.
The two-time defending champions of the World League played an almost faultless game, making only seven errors – a different story from Puerto Rico’s 22 faults.
Brazil broke a 3-3 tie with a four-point rally in the first set, led by setter Bruno with a disguised attack followed by a block en route to an 8-4 advantage. The nine-time champions never looked back and went into the second technical time-out with a six-point cushion, taking advantage of many opponent errors. When the gap increased to 22-13, Puerto Rico called for a time-out and Soto responded with a thunderous spike to give the local crowd something to cheer about. Giba attacked for set-point and, after a Puerto Rican offensive error, the opening frame went to Brazil 25-15.
In the second set, Soto and Rivera scored with consecutive spikes to give Puerto Rico an early 2-0 lead, but Brazil came back and the scores were soon tied at 4-4. Lightning spikes from Lucas Saatkamp and Joao Bravo helped Brazil move out to an 11-7 lead, but Puerto Rico recovered with Soto’s spike and an ace off the net cord by Muñiz. With Brazil13-11 ahead, Rodrigo Santana hammered a mammoth shot and Giba followed with two bombs from the left for a 16-11 score at the second TTO. The local team narrowed the gap to 18-16 with the attack of lefty Jose Rivera and a block by Escalante, but Bravo gave his side a shot in the arm with a powerful hit and Brazil went on to take the second set 25-19, Jose Rivera handing the set over with a failed serve attempt.
Vissotto and Giba each scored with two strong spikes as Brazil roared to an 8-3 lead at the first technical time-out of the third set. The South Americans cruised into the second break nine points up thanks to the offensive prowess of Bravo and Vissotto. It was more of the same the rest of the set and the two-time defending champs finished the match with a block by Giba as they ran out 25-16 winners.