Pool B1 opens World Grand Prix Group 1 rivalry with Japan taking early lead


Japan celebrate the point against Serbia

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 9, 2016 – Pool B1 opened 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix Group 1 competition with victories of the hosting team Brazil over Italy and Japan over Serbia. 

Pool B1 begins its rivalry on Thursday, the day before all of the other pools of all World Grand Prix groups. Brazil, Italy, Japan and Serbia are playing in Rio de Janeiro, where they will meet again in august durig Olympic Games. After the first day of World Grand Prix weekend Japan takes first position after straight set victory over Serbia, while Brazil is second after its four-set long match against Italy.

Japan took the early lead, winning with Serbia in straight sets, while Brazil defeated Italy 3-1. As the only pool playing on Thursday, both pool B1 and Group 1 rankings composition can change by the end of the weekend. 

Match Centres 
Brazil beat Italy 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-15, 27-25) Match Centre
Japan beat Serbia 3-0 (31-29, 25-18, 28-26) Match Centre

Brazil kicked off the match against Italy losing the first set, but the team made a come back winning the next two sets with a big advantage. Italy responded in the fourth, but it was Brazil's experience that allowed the team to close the match in four sets. Block paid big role in hosts performance, with 17 points scored in this elements (including 12 scored by Natalia Pereira and Fabiana Claudino). 

Japan and Serbia fought hard since the very beginning, serving the fans first set 31-29. In the second set Japan took over the control, dominating with 25-18. In the third set Serbia responded again hoping to extended the match until fourth set, but Japan finished it at 28-26. Sarina Koga was the brighest point of her team, but on the other side of the net Jovana Brakocevic recorded her official come back to team Serbia at World Grand Prix, beocming the best scorer of her team.

Player statistics 

Top Scoring Performances 
20 - Sarina Koga of Japan 
18 - Jovana Brakocevic of Serbia 
18 - Paola Egonu of Italy 
16 - Natalia Pereira of Brazil 

Top Individual Serving Performances 
2 - Sheilla Castro 
2 - Fernanda Rodrigues 
2 - Bojana Zivkovic of Serbia 

Top Team Serving Performances 
6 - Brazil against Italy 
5 - Japan against Serbia 
5 - Serbia against Japan 
4 - Italy against Serbia 

Top Individual Blocking Performances 
7 - Fabiana Claudino 
5 - Natalia Pereira 
3 - Sarina Koga of Japan 
3 - Jovana stevanovic of Serbia 

Top Team Blocking Performances 
17 - Brazil against Italy 
9 - Serbia against Japan 

Highest Scoring Sets 
31-29 Japan v Serbia 
28-26 Japan v Serbia 
27-25 Brazil v Italy


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