VNL 2024: Brazil fends off Netherlands to boost Final Eight bid

VNL 2024: Brazil fends off Netherlands to boost Final Eight bid

/ 08:36 PM June 18, 2024

Brazil's Darlan Ferreira Souza goes for a hit against the Netherlands defenders in a VNL 2024 Week 3 game at Mall of Asia Arena.

Brazil’s Darlan Ferreira Souza goes for a hit against the Netherlands defenders in a VNL 2024 Week 3 game at Mall of Asia Arena. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

VNL 2024 SCHEDULE: Week 3 Manila, Philippines leg

MANILA, Philippines — Brazil overcame a slow start and the 38-point explosion of Nimir Abdel-Aziz for the Netherlands, 24-26, 25-23, 31-29, 25-20, to solidify its chances for the Final Eight in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Week 3 on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Brazil leaned on a collective effort led by Darlan Souza to recover from a first-set loss, where it squandered a 23-21 lead, before getting its act together to improve to a 6-3 record in third place.

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Souza powered the Brazilians with 26 points off 20 attacks, three blocks, and three aces to get the win over Abdel-Aziz, who drilled 33 kills and five aces for the Netherlands.

“We got a little nervous. The Netherlands played so well but we eventually managed to boost our pace and we’re happy to get the win,” Souza told reporters. “It’s always good when we get a win. It’s a boost in our morale and the matches are very hard so we have to stay focused with our [remaining] matchups.”

Brazil survived a tight third set, where it fought back from a 23-24 deficit before taking five set point advantages but Maarten Van Garderen’s kill tied the frame to 29-all.

However, Van Garderen missed his serve that brought back the Brazilians at set point, 30-29, before Flavio Resende delivered a big block on  Abdel-Aziz to take a 2-1 match advantage.

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The Brazilians pulled away in the fourth set with an 18-13 spread and never looked back to win their first assignment in Manila before facing Team USA on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Lucas Saatkamp also stepped up for Brazil with 12 points including three blocks. Flavio delivered 11 points off five attacks and six blocks, while Lucarelli Souza and Leal Hidalgo added nine and eight points, respectively.

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The Netherlands dropped to 13th place with a 3-6 card amid Abdel-Aziz’s big game. Van Garderen stepped up with 15 points as they battle Iran on Thursday.

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TAGS: Brazil, Volleyball Nations League (VNL)

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