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Istanbul dodges bullet

Games Today
(Mall of Asia Arena)
4 p.m. – VakifBank Istanbul vs Bangkok Glass
7 p.m. – PSL-F2 Logistics Manila vs Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul

Defending champion Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul survived a resilient Rexona-Sesc Rio crew with a 25-27, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18, 15-11 victory yesterday to bolster its semifinal bid in the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Vitra Istanbul spikers relied on its superb blocking to stay unbeaten in Pool A after two matches.

Tijana Boskovic, member of the Serbian team that won silver in last August’s Rio Olympics, sizzled for Vitra Istanbul with 28 points built on 20 attacks, seven blocks and one ace, while American national team member Jordan Larson-Burbach and Tatiana Kosheleva added 15 points each.

The taller Vitra Istanbul crew provided a rock-solid defense at the net and finished with 22 blocks, frustrating Rexona-Sesc Rio particularly in the deciding frame.

Trailing at 7-6, Vitra Istanbul rallied with six straight points coming mostly from Thaisa Daher Pallesi’s blocks to gain the needed tempo en route to the win.

Pallesi also shone for Vitra Istanbul along with American national team player Rachael Adams with 11 points each.

Rexona-Sesc Rio fell to 1-2 despite the efforts of Monique Marinho Pavao, who finished with 24 points, and Gabi Gumaraes, who had 14.

Earlier, Hisamitsu Springs Kobe finally nailed its first win after two defeats in Pool B with a 25-14, 25-18, 25-20 triumph over Bangkok Glass.

Captain Miyu Nagaoka sizzled with 18 kills to finish with 20 points for Hisamitsu Springs, which dominated Bangkok Glass in all departments particularly in attacks (47-28) and blocks (9-5).

Yuki Ishii contributed 13 points, while Nana Iwasaka and Maja Tokarska added 10 points apiece.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa scored 11 points, while skipper Pleumjit Thinkaeow was limited to only four points.