Hosts Japan win again; Russia prevail in five sets
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 22, 2014 - Russia beat Turkey 3-2 (25-22, 26-24, 13-25, 25-27, 15-12) in a marathon match on the third day of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Friday. The match lasted two hours and 45 minutes. Brazil breezed past Belgium 3-0 (25-10, 25-12, 25-12) and hosts Japan beat China 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-21).
Japan defeated China 3-0 to become the only team that has won its first three matches in the Finals phase|
Russia started the first match of the day well, taking the first two sets. Turkey, however, came out fighting in the third and fourth sets to take the match to a tie-breaker, in what is the longest World Grand Prix match this century. Turkey were up 10-8 in the fifth set before Russia scored four straight points to take an advantage they would hold on to until the end of the set. Turkey's Gozde Sonsirma was the top scorer in the match with 29 points; Russia were led by Tatiana Kosheleva with 26 points.
In the day's second match, champions Brazil swept Belgium to claim their second victory in the Finals. Thaisa Menezes of Brazil was the top scorer with 13 points, including seven service points. In Japan's victory against China, Miyu Nagaoka and Saori Kimura both scored 16 points for Japan - a total equalled by Zeng Chunlei of China.
• The 2h45m duration of the Turkey-Russia match is the longest for a World Grand Prix match in this century.
• Russia have now won five of their last six matches in the World Grand Prix.
• Russia have now won five of their last six matches that went into a fifth set, only losing 3-2 to Turkey in this year's preliminary phase.
• Brazil outscored Belgium 75-34 in points, making this the most lopsided win in World Grand Prix Finals play (25 to a set).
• Brazil have won 18 of their last 21 World Grand Prix matches in straight sets.
• They have won 28 of their last 33 matches in the Finals.
• Belgium have lost three consecutive World Grand Prix matches for the first time in this debut season for them.
• Japan finished outside the top 6 in Group 1 of the Preliminary Round (seventh place), but is the only team that has now won all three matches in the Finals phase.
• Japan have won their last seven World Grand Prix matches, equalling their team record set in 1994 and again from 2012 to 2013.
• They have now won the last two matches against China, after only winning one of the 21 encounters before those two wins.
• Japan have won three matches in a Finals for the first time.
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