France holds on vs Brazil to conclude VNL Manila leg campaign

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
France holds on vs Brazil to conclude VNL Manila leg campaign
Team France
STAR / Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines – France ended its run in the Manila leg of the men’s Volleyball Nations League triumphant after hanging tough against Brazil, 25-23, 27-29, 13-25, 25-19, 18-16 Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Theo Faure waxed hot for 29 points for France, which had a meltdown Saturday against Japan. 

With the fifth set tied at nine apiece after a service error by Lukas Bergmann, Brazil found their rhythm and went up by three, 12-9, led by Alan and Adriano. 

The French then slowly but surely clawed back, taking the lead and the match point, 14-13, with a 5-1 run capped by a fault by the Brazilians. 

But the two teams went back-and-forth, forcing an extension after extension with timely errors. 

A Ricardo Lucarelli kill gave Brazil the tie once again at 16-all, before Faure gave France the much-needed lead, 17-16.

A service ace by Jouffroy ended the match.

It was a comeback of sorts for the French, who blew a 2-0 set lead against Japan on Saturday and absorbed a five-set loss.

With France reeling from a 25-13 third set defeat, it seemed like Brazil had all the momentum shifted on their side.

The French, however, broke the fourth set wide open, taking an eight-point lead, 17-9, off a block point by Antoine Brizard.

This was enough separation for the victors to breeze through to the end of the set, forcing the fifth set. 

Kevin Tillie added 14 for France, while Yacine Louati and Jouffroy had eight apiece. 

Lucarelli paced Brazil with 18. Alan Souza chipped in 15. 

France ended the Manila leg with an 8-4 win-loss record, while Brazil fell to an identical 6-6 slate.

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