Volleyball Nations League set for Philippine stop

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Volleyball Nations League set for Philippine stop
Top left to right: Brazil captain Ricardo Lucarelli, Canada captain Nicholas Hong, Iran captain Milad Edadipour Gharahassanlou, Japan aptain Yuki Ishikawa, Netherlands captain Nimir Abdel-Aziz, USA captain Micah Chirstenson, France captain Benjamin Toniutti, Brazil coach Bernardo Rezende, Canada coach Toumas Sammelvuo, Netherlands coach Roverto Piazza, Germany coach Michal Winiarski, Iran coach Payman Akbari, Japan coach Philippe Blain, France coach Andrea Giani and USA coach John Speraw pose during the press conference at Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City.
STAR / Russell Palma

Games Tuesday
(Mall of Asia Arena)
5 p.m. – Netherlands vs Brazil
8:30 p.m. – Canada vs Japan

MANILA, Philippines – Eight of the world’s best men’s volleyball countries descend upon the Philippines when the country hosts the third and final week of the Volleyball Nations League starting Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Netherlands and Brazil open up hostilities as they face off at 5 p.m. followed by the 8:30 p.m. showdown between Canada and crowd darling Japan with Presidential son Vincent Marcos and business tycoon and sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan officially ushering Week 3 in between the two games.

Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon Suzara, Senators Pia and Alan Peter Cayetano, Department of Tourism Secretary Cristina Frasco and Philippine Sports Commission chair Richard Bachmann are among the officials gracing the event, which visits the country for the third straight year.

Also here are Germany and France, which battle each other at 3 p.m. tomorrow, and Iran and the United States, which clash at 7 p.m. the same day of this spectacle where The STAR is a media partner.

All but Iran is still in contention for a place in the final eight set June 27 to 30 in Lodz, Poland.

Currently, France is running fourth, Japan fifth, Brazil sixth, Canada seventh, Germany 11th and Netherlands 13th and expect them to jostle for important positions in Lodz.

Iran is dead last at 16th but vowed to give a decent fight.

Interestingly, all but the Iranians and the Dutch have secured a spot in next month’s Paris Olympics.

“It’s an important week because we’re trying to go to the final eight,” said Brazil coach Bernardo Rezende.

For Netherlands mentor Roberto Piazza, they will try to maximize what slim chances it has in making the final cut.

“We had little chance, we’ll try to fight for the chance we have, we’ll see where we are going,” said Piazza.

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