TODAYSZAMAN.COM – ‘Sultans of the Net’ show champ Brazil no mercy at Worlds opener

‘Sultans of the Net’ show champ Brazil no mercy at Worlds openerThe andldquoSultans of the Net,andrdquo as the Turkish womenandrsquos basketball team is called, pulled off a thrilling five-set (3-2) upset over defending Brazil on the opening day of the 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix Finals in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, on Wednesday.With the 25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 19-25, 15-12 victory, the Turkish women snapped the defending champandrsquos amazing 18-game winning streak, according to a report posted on the FIVB website.

Elsewhere, China beat Belgium 3-1 for their opening victory in the six-team round robin final round, while Japan rallied past Russia by the same score to claim its first victory over the Russians at the Worlds.Gzde SonsIrma was the top scorer in the match with 23 points, while her teammate Neriman zsoy had 21.

Brazilandrsquos top scorer was Tandara Caixeta with 20 points. Turkey had 12 service points to Brazilandrsquos one.

Brazil had only dropped two sets in their nine preliminary round matches. Both teams showed flashes of their talent in the early stages of the first set, but they also made errors.

After a wide shot by Thaisa Menezes saw his team fall behind 12-9, Brazil coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes called a timeout. But the Turks were showing plenty of fight, defending and blocking well.

Sheilla Castro sent a serve long and Turkey was 16-11 ahead at the second technical timeout. Brazil called a second timeout at 19-13 as they struggled to break down the Turks.

Sonsirma made some sharp kills down the left as Turkey extended their lead and she brought up setpoint at 24-17, which was converted by Bahar Toksoy.SonsIrma kept Turkey alive as Brazil opened up a 6-3 lead early in the second set on the back of some good play by Fernanda Rodrigues and a thumping spike by Jaqueline Carvalho.

But the Turks turned things around as Brazil struggled to find their best game.After a kill by Neriman zsoy put Turkey 12-9 ahead, Ze Roberto called his players off court for a talk.

But Turkey kept the pressure on and an unreturnable serve by zsoy saw them 16-12 ahead at the second TTO.Then Turkey lost their way.

zsoy netted a serve, SonsIrma was blocked by Dani Lins and they failed to deal with a serve by Castro, which leveled the scores at 16. Turkey pulled the score back from 21-23 to 23-23 before Guldeniz Onal dropped a serve into the hole to give Turkey setpoint.

Castro sent a shot down the right wide and Turkey were 2-0 up.Brazil made two service reception errors early in the third set, while Turkeyandrsquos Sonsirma and zsoy sent down two blistering drives and Turkey forced a Brazil timeout at 6-1.

Two more errors — a netted serve by Caixeta and a reception error by Rodrigues — saw Turkey four points ahead at the first TTO.Brazil turned the pressure up and Turkey coach Massimo Barbolini called a timeout at 13-10.

Good blocks by Carolina Da Silva and Gabi Guimaraes helped Brazil close to within a point at 15-14 and two more blocks — by Dani Lins and Carvalho — drew the scores level at 17-17.Da Silva put Brazil in the driving seat at the start of the fourth set with two good blocks and a service ace, while Tandara contributed a pair of good hits either side of Turkeyandrsquos first timeout, which came with Brazil leading 6-2.

Hits by Guimaraes and blocks by Caixeta put more pressure on Turkey and Brazil were five points up at 17-12 after a wide shot by Akyol Naz AydemirBarbolini brought in Yeliz Basa and she quickly came up with two big blocks on Gabi, forcing Ze Roberto to call a timeout at 17-16. A Brazil error then saw the scores tied at 17 before a spike and a block by Fabiana Claudino and two hits by Castro opened up a four-point gap for Brazil at 21-17.

Two spikes each by SonsIrma and zsoy and a reception error by Carvalho allowed Turkey to take a 5-2 lead in the fifth set, but they were only two points ahead at the change-around thanks to errors of their own. A big block by Kubra Akman on Carvalho gave Turkey breathing space at 9-6 when Roberto called a timeout.

After a thunderbolt from Caixeta and another block from Da Silva, Barbolini called a timeout. Caixeta and SonsIrma traded blows, but Turkey stayed ahead.

zsoy then forced a spike through the Brazilian defense to give Turkey three match points. Guimaraes saved one before zsoy squeezed a shot through to give the Turks a massive win.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman