Macau, China,26 Aug – World No.1 Brazil and defending event champion the United States secured their berths in the semifinals of the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix final round with respective wins in pool B here Thursday.
In pool A, World Grand Prix newcomer Serbia rallied past reigning world champion Russia 3-1 while dark horse Thailand stunned the host China in four sets to make the group wide open before the last round of round robin play today.
The Brazilian women subdued an aggressive Japanese team in straight sets 25-17, 25-22, 25-21 in Pool B of round robin play at the Macau East Asian Games Dome where the Americans rallied from 2-1 down to beat Italy 25-19, 21-25, 22-25, 25-22 and 15-10.
Improving their overall record in this season’s World Grand Prix to 11-0, Brazil topped Group B with six points from two straight sets wins, followed by the USA team on five.
The Italians, 3-0 losers to Brazil on Wednesday, were third with one point while Japan placed fourth after two 3-0 losses.
With only one match remaining for each team, Brazil and the United States have iced top two finishes in Group B with Italy and Japan to fight for the third finish on Friday.
USA outplayed Italy defensively in the deciding set to clinch the victory in the five-set marathon later on Thursday.
In the last match of the day, Thailand upset China 25-12, 25-21, 19-25 and 25-17 to improve to a 1-1 win-loss record.
The Thais tied with Russia on three points while China only had one point in hand after Wednesday’s full set loss to Serbia.
China will play Russia today and Serbia takes on Thailand with all four teams sharing the chance to make Saturday’s semifinals.(MacauNews/Sports)