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Guimaraes dismisses the importance of individual performances

Brazilian Ze Roberto prefers team performance over individual stars
Tokyo, Japan, November 16, 2013 – The common phrase that no player is bigger than the club is a perfect fit for the Brazilian team taking part in the FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Cup.

With two more matches to play in the quadrennial competition, no players of the Olympic champions and world’s top ranked team appear in the top-ten list of the best scorers of the event.

The fact was put into perspective by heralded coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes when asked recently to name the most impressive player of his team during the six-team tournament.

“Volleyball is a team sport and the individual performances are the result of the help of teammates, so I don’t have a choice of any player above the rest of the team,” responded Guimaraes.

“If you check the list of the top scorers, no Brazilian player is there,” he stressed. “It doesn’t have importance in team sport.”

Veteran Sheilla Castro, with 35 points (11.6 per game) is the top scorer of Brazil good for the eleventh place in the individual category.

The South American champions are atop of the standings with a win-loss record of 3-0 and the maximum 9 points resulting from two 3-0 wins and one 3-1 victory.

Most of the coaches took a similar approach to that of Ze Roberto, like countryman Marcos Kwiek, who has been in charge of the Dominican Republic team for the past five years following a stint as assistant coach of Guimaraes.

“Volleyball is not an individual sport so the particular performance of a player does not necessarily reflects the success of a team,” Kwiek said. “But if I have to select a role model in my team I will point out to Bethania De la Cruz, our captain.”

De la Cruz, in fact, leads the individual scoring charts with 58 points in three matches as her team shows a 1-2 record with three points.

USA’s Karch Kiraly said to be satisfied with the “job of my middle blockers (Lauren Gibbemeyer, Lauren Paolini and Curtsy Jackson) and my opposite (Kelly Murphy) and I have to mention the role played by setter Alisha Glass.”

Russia’s Iury Marichev paid importance to the return of Liubov Shashkova to the national team whom he considered “an inspirational factor for the improvement of the rest of the players.”

Thailand’s Kiattipong Radchatagrienkai praised his side for winning the Asian championship this year and getting the chance to play in the tournament but didn’t hesitate to name Onuma Sittirak as the most impressive player of the team.

Japan’s Masayoshi Manabe, whose team is in second place with a 2-1 mark and six points, commented that his team is going through a process of changes and stressed on the job being executed by setter Hitomi Nakamichi, who actually leads all the players of her position by a wide margin.

The competition continues on Saturday when USA play Thailand, Russia face Brazil and hosts Japan meet the Dominican Republic at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

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