VNL: Brazil sweeps Netherlands, regains hold of 3rd place

Henrique Honorato set the tone for Brazil's bounce back win against the Netherlands. PNVF
By John Rhey Piamonte

PASAY—After a devastating loss against Italy last Tuesday, Brazil bounced back big time and demolished the Netherlands, in a sweet 25-21, 25-15, 25-20 sweep in the 2023 Volleyball Nations League men's division Manila leg Day 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Fresh from a heartbreaking 1-3 upset against rival Italy on Day 1, Brazil quickly established its presence in the net and then thwarted every fightback from the streaking Netherlands. 

The South Americans contained the Netherlands to only 33 attack points, blocking 11 hits in the process.

“I think we were very aggressive in the serve, we played really well in our system, our block defense,” Brazil team captain Bruno Rezende said. 

With this victory, Brazil regained its hold of the third spot in the team standings, improving to 7-3. 

Brazil came out swinging right off the bat with Henrique Honorato firing four of his 10 total points in the first set while middle blocker Lucas Saatkamp shut down the offense of the Netherlands en route to a 25-21 opener. 

The 37-year-old behemoth anchored Brazil's defense all throughout the match, finishing with 10 points, six of them coming from blocks and four from kills. 

It was a well-distributed second salvo for Brazil as the current world no. 2 team displayed an array of thrilling sets across the net to dominate the Netherlands.

Opposite spiker Wouter Ter Maat led the comeback rally for the Netherlands as he registered eight crucial hits that kept Brazil in distance, midway past the third set. 

But an ace from Honorato and a quick set in the middle for Saatkamp quickly changed the tide of the game and never looked back from there, bringing Brazil to the finish line. 

League-leading attacker Nimir Abdel-Aziz struggled against the set-up walls by Brazil and only managed to score eight total points, a far cry from his 16-point average. 

Ter Maat finished with 10 markers for the Netherlands.

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