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VNL: World No. 1 Poland rips Brazil for crucial 8th win

Poland showed its might at a crucial moment. PNVF
By John Rhey Piamonte

PASAY—The Polish power was in full display on Day 4 of the Volleyball Nations League Pasay leg as the top-ranked men's volleyball team trounced Brazil in a hard-fought 25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 25-21 win on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

With the final week of the preliminary phase nearing an end, Poland clinched a pivotal eighth victory that put them ahead of traffic in the crowded race for a top finish in the team standings.

Wilfredo Leon paced the Polish team after a game-high 22 points performance, 20 of which came from attacks alongside one block and one ace. 

The 29-year-old outside hitter roared and dominated in the closeout, barging in eight markers in the fourth including a superb off-the-block that sealed the deal for Poland.

"There were a few moments where we have some delicate problems but we come back. And I'm happy that the players from the bench made also did a very good job for today just like our last match," Leon said.

As both teams struggled on the floor all game long, committing a combined 61 errors, it came down to which squad will make the necessary adjustments and it was Poland who responded capitalizing on a series of Brazil's misreceptions and service errors.

Poland came out with that familiar blitz in the first, enough to build a 24-19 advantage.

Brazil fought back and managed to save four match points but Leon put an end to the set at 25-23 off a cross-court hit.

The South Americans rode on their service game in the second salvo as Ricardo Lucarelli Souza and Lucas Saatkamp chipped in four aces that dictated the pace of the set en route to a 25-22 cushion.

Souza finished with 14 points across his name while middle blocker Saatkamp added nine for Brazil.

Leon caught fire in the third and fourth set leading the Poles in attacks then a perfect quick set from setter Marcin Janusz to Norbert Huber ended the game off.

Follow him on Twitter: @rhey_piamonte

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