Brazil, Canada and Finland arrived in Poland, to play against a Polish team that includes FIVB Heroes and Olympic contenders Zibi Bartman and Bartosz Kurek, and that is receiving massive support from their home crowd.
Poland won in straight sets against Canada and the fans finally got to see Kurek playing. The Polish left-side hitter felt pain in his knee in Toronto and his coach decided to not risk his health. Bartek came on court during the match and scored 7 points. But the best scorer with 18 points was Zibi Bartman! Later in the day Murilo Endres with team Brazil faced Finland. For the Brazilian it was his first tournament in this edition of the World League. Murilo helped his team triumph over Finland 3:0, scoring 9 points.
On day two our FIVB Heroes took revenge on the teams which beat them in Canada. Bartosz Kurek played from the start and fully supported his opposite, Zibi Bartman, scoring 13 points. Bartman was again his team’s best scorer with 17 points!
The most exciting match was still to come however. On Sunday Poland, with the unwavering support of 11 thousand of their fans, faced one of this country’s favourite foreign teams, Brazil. “The most Brazilian Polish town” as coach Bernardo Rezende called Katowice, has been lucky for Canarinhos for 10 years. But not this time. Poland, led by Zibi Bartman who scored 26 points, won over Brazil in a thrilling five set match. Murilo was the top scorer of his team, but this time it was not enough to win.
Poland is now the leader in pool B with 14 points, while Brazil is right behind them with 12 points. It’s almost sure that the rivalry for one of the final six places in Sofia will be between these two teams. Next weekend the teams will play in Brazil, where their fans are waiting to give their team as much support as Poland got from theirs! Will Brazil take advantage and win the tournament in Sao Bernardo? Another FIVB Hero, Giba, is waiting to join the team and prove that Brazil is ready to go to Sofia.
Who will come out on top?