Brazil's Bruno and Bermardo Rezende celebrate after booking the ticket to the semifinals
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 17, 2016 – Coach Bernardo Rezende said his Brazil team must play smart volleyball when they meet Olympic champions Russia in one of the men’s semifinals of the volleyball tournament next Friday.
Rezende, whose team twice was one point away of winning the gold medal four year ago in London before losing to Russia in five sets, said they need to avoid the instinct of going power versus power against the big Russians.
Bernardo Rezende, Coach of Brazil: It was a tough match against Argentina and the key for us was the blocking as we touched a lot of balls. We played good defence even though we faced some physical issues. We kept playing hard after losing a second set by wide margin and that made me happy.
On the semifinal against Russia:
We need to play smart volleyball and not try to go power against power. Russia is a very physical team with efficient middle blockers and they have twelve hours more of rest than us.
Bruno Rezende, Captain of Brazil: We didn’t play as well as we can but the result is what matter the most. We have not been consistent with many ups and downs and we need to correct that. We won the fourth set by two just two points. Now we have to recover our energy and play with our hearts out against Russia in semifinals.
On the Russian team:
It is a different generation and a different team than it was four years ago in London. Both teams are different and living another moment. We need to be patient against them. They are big blockers but their reception is not as good. We need to study. They are a different team than Argentina.
Julio Velasco, Coach of Argentina: I think it was a great match against Brazil, one of the best teams in the world. I am very proud of my teams and the players but we need to improve to be at the same level of these teams. We have progressed but we are a different team because we are not as tall son we need to play better to overcome those disadvantages. Today Brazil organized the attack better at the key moments. We have taken one step forwards in our goal of being among the top six, seven teams of the world.
Luciano de Cecco, Captain of Argentina: It is a match very difficult to comment. What can I say? We had to dance with the prettiest girl. We played at a great level all the week but today we had a difficult rival. I feel happy even though my face does not show it. I hope people understand back in Argentina that we have worked very hard and we must continue. Today we were just one point away of forcing a tie-breaker.