Volley giants strut stuff in VNL Manila

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Volley giants strut stuff in VNL Manila
Team captains and coaches of the eight teams clashing in the Volleyball Nations League gig at the MOA Arena pose for posterity during the event launch at Shangri-La Makati yesterday. The skippers are Ricardo Lucarelli of Brazil, Nicholas Hong of Canada, Milad Edadipour Gharahassanlou of Iran, Yuki Ishikawa of Japan, Nimir Abdel-Aziz of the Netherlands, Micah Chirstenson of the United States and Benjamin Toniutti of France, with coaches Bernardo Rezende (Brazil), Toumas Sammelvuo (Canada), Roberto Piazza (the Netherlands), Michal Winiarski (Germany), Payman Akbari (Iran), Philippe Blain (Japan), Andrea Giani (France) and John Speraw (US).
Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines — Eight of the world’s best men’s volleyball teams show their wares before Filipino fans in the third and final week of the Volleyball Nations League starting today at the MOA 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 Three in between the two games.

Also gracing the opener are 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.

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 in this spectacle where The Philippine STAR is a media partner.

All but Iran are 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 the Netherlands 13th.

The Iranians are dead last at 16th, but vowed to still dish out the best they can.

Interestingly, all but the Iranians and the Dutch have secured spots in the Paris Olympics.

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

Netherlands mentor Roberto Piazza said they will try to maximize the slim chances they have 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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