VNL: Canada smashes Germany to boost Final 8 hopes

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
VNL: Canada smashes Germany to boost Final 8 hopes
Team Canada has won back-to-back matches in the VNL.
STAR / Russell Palma

Games Friday
(Mall of Asia Arena)
11 a.m. – Iran vs France
3 p.m. – Canada vs Brazil
7 p.m. – Netherlands vs Japan

MANILA, Philippines – During the media briefing of the Men’s Volleyball Nations League at the Makati Shangri-La Tuesday, Canada coach Tuomas Sammelvuo vowed to throw everything including the kitchen sink just to make the final round set late this month in Lodz, Poland.

Sammelvuo isn’t about to renege on it.

Displaying the same top-class volleyball it showed when it finished second to Poland in the Pool C FIVB qualification meet in Xi’an, China last year and sealed it a Paris Olympic slot, Canada smashed Germany, 25-19, 25-18, 25-21, to close in on accomplishing its goal.

It came just a couple of days after repulsing crowd-darling Japan, 25-21, 20-25, 25-15, 20-25, 15-10.

“We’re trying everything,” said Sammelvuo, whose wards have leapt from seventh to fifth 18 points on six wins in 10 outings.

“We have already qualified for the Olympics, we’re now trying everything to be in the final eight,” he added.

The Canadians would book a spot to the final round if they could at least snare one of their last two matches against either the gritty Brazilians Friday or the flying Dutch Saturday.

The power-spiking duo of Stephen Timothy Maar and Arthur Szwarc blasted away with 15 points apiece while crisp-hitting Eric Leoppky scattered 11 hits for a nation eyeing to eclipse its best finish in the VNL at seventh six years ago.

For the Germans, they stumbled back to 11th after loitering at ninth and closer to qualification following their shock 25-23, 25-27, 25-20, 25-23 triumph over the fancied French the day before.

There’s still some ray of hope left for the Eagles though assuming they sweep the mighty Americans Saturday and the nothing-to-lose but everything-to-gain Iranians Sunday.

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