VNL: Netherlands sweep Slovenia to kick off Quezon City swing
MANILA, Philippines–The Netherlands opened its men’s Volleyball Nations League campaign in Quezon City with a 25-17, 25-21, 26-24 victory over Slovenia Tuesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Captain Nimir Abdel-Aziz, an opposite spiker from Italian club Trentino, paced the Dutch with 18 points and six digs, Bennie Tuinstra added 13 points and six digs while Thijs Ter Horst scored 12 points.
The Netherlands, which chalked up its third win in five matches to remain in the upper half of the standings, fired nine service aces, with Abdel-Aziz accounting for three.
“We played very clean, like a team,” said Tuinstra, who contributed two service winners. “It was tough, we were pushing and they (Slovenia) gave up big points that’s why we won today.”
The Dutch displayed composure late in the third set behind clutch kills by Tuinstra and Abdel-Aziz producing clutch kills.
Jan Kozamernik tried to extend the match for the Slovenians but his quick attack went wide.
The good-sized men’s opening day crowd who showed up at the Big Dome inspired the Netherlands.
“It’s always nice to have fans in the stands. The fans are great. It’s amazing to play here,” said Abdel-Aziz.
The Slovenians dropped to 2-3 card to stay at the lower half of the 16-team field.
Rok Mozic took the scoring mantle for Slovenia with 12 points, including three blocks, and seven digs, while Stern Ziga contributed 11 kills, six digs and five receptions.
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