French roosters fly high

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
French roosters fly high
Quentin Jouffroy of France hammers one versus the Brazilians in their VNL match at the MOA Arena last night.
Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines — France has a tough task to defend the Olympic men’s volleyball title on home soil in Paris next month.

And the Roosters are taking every opportunity to improve their game and be at their best in time for the Paris Games.

They were tough and resilient in their gripping 25-23, 27-29, 13-25, 25-19, 18-16 win over the Brazilians in the Men’s Volleyball Nations League last night at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

“We want to play and win every time,” said France coach Andrea Giani of their gritty performance versus Brazil.

“Preparation is good but every match, we try to win and improve our level of volleyball. And I’m very happy tonight (Sunday),” he added.

The win shoved the French from sixth to fifth with 23 points on an 8-4 record and boosted their confidence entering the VNL final round slated June 27 to 30 in Lodz, Poland.

There, France would try to even build up its conviction for its toughest mission of all – claim a second straight Olympic mint before their countrymen.

The Canarinhos dropped to seventh with 21 points on an even 6-6 card but would have a chance to regain rhythm as they too have sealed a place in the Lodz meet.

The Manila event is powered by PLDT Home, the official local partner of the Volleyball Nations League 2024. Catch the latest in sports with PLDT Home Fiber Unli All Plan 1799 which comes with unlimited Fiber, unlimited entertainment from Cignal, and free mobile calls.

Earlier, Germany overpowered Iran, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20, to finish at 12th place with 15 points on a 5-7 mark.

Moritz Karlitzek didn’t hold back and went on an attacking blitz with 21 points while Moritz Reichert scattered 14 hits that helped power the Eagles to the win that somehow salvaged some measure of pride after failing to make the final round.

If there’s any consolation, the Germans can now focus on next month’s Paris Olympics where they hope to recapture, if not eclipse, the best medal they won in the quadrennial games – the silver in the 1972 Berlin Games.

Karlitzek said he would cherish the experience of playing here.

“Great hosting, fantastic fans,” he said.

The Iranians ended up at 15th with six points on a 2-10 mark.

In the third game, Japan eliminated the United States, 25-20, 25-23, 25-19.

The Japanese moved to 6th with 22 points while the Americans ended their campaign at 11th with 15 points.

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