PRESS RELEASE 19.11.2009

Brazil and Japan maintain unbeaten record at FIVB Men’s Grand Champions Cup

Cuba's Joandry Leal makes the play on his way to 16 points against Poland as Brazil and Japan finished day two of the FIVB Men's World Grand Champions Cup as the only unbeaten sides in the competition

Osaka, Japan, November 19, 2009 – World number one Brazil and hosts Japan are the only two teams to remain unbeaten after the second day of action at the FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup 2009 on Thursday after Brazil beat Iran 3-1 (25-22, 25-18, 23-25, 25-19), Cuba came from behind to beat Poland 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-22) and Japan were too strong for Egypt 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17).

After 15 sets of amazing action on the opening day on Wednesday, Thursday served up three more spectacular games of four sets apiece with power, precision and finesse the name of the game in the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium.  After two days of play in front of appreciative crowds in Osaka, Brazil and Japan sit on top of the table with two wins from two as the Men’s World Grand Champions Cup 2009 moves to Nagoya on Friday, with day three of competition beginning Saturday.

Brazil beat Iran 3-1 (25-22, 25-18, 23-25, 25-19)
Defending champions Brazil had to work hard before beating Iran in the first match of the second day. The world champions eventually came home to extend their win-loss record to 2-0, while dropping Iran to 1-1 however Iran emerged with great credit, having had the satisfaction of taking one set off the world number one the day after beating Egypt 3-2. “I thought Iran played an amazing game,” Brazil coach Bernardinho said. “They are a very good team on the court, playing with speed and a lot of heart, defending and blocking very well. This is the first time in all my years with the national team to play against Iran, and I am very impressed. We started a slowly, maybe because we spent a lot of energy against Cuba, and we thought our experience could prevail, but we had to play very hard at the end.”

Cuba beat Poland 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-22)
NORCECA champions Cuba collected their first win of the FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup 2009 by coming from behind to beat Poland to improve their win-loss record to 1-1 after the previous day’s defeat to Brazil. Poland dropped to 0-2. “In the next three games we will try to fight the same as the two games in Osaka,” Cuba captain Roberlandy Simon said. “We lost to Brazil but our idea is to fight again for the last three games. As the captain I do not like to lose because my team mates are very young and less experienced, so I told them not to lose their fighting spirit.”

Japan beat Egypt 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17)
Japan pulled off a sparkling victory over Egypt in the night match on Thursday, improving their win-loss record to 2-0 in front of over 5,000 adoring fans, as the African champions and tournament wild cards dropped to 0-2. “At this morning’s meeting we talked that the serve and serve reception would be very important,” Japanese playmaker Tatsuya Fukuzawa said. “Our serve was very good so we were able to build a good attack and that was really effective. The same as yesterday, we fought very well and were united as a team. With this good momentum we want to keep it going during the games in Nagoya.”

Day Three: Travel Day
Schedule for Day Four: Brazil v Poland (12.30), Cuba v Egypt (14.30), Japan v Iran (18.00)

For more info: Richard Baker - FIVB Deputy Communications Director
Mobile in Japan: +81 (0)80 1311 9988 or press@fivb.org