Turin, Italy, September 29, 2018 - Brazil left Serbia not even a glimmer of hope, as they cruised past the Balkan side 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-22) in the first semifinal of the 2018 FIVB Men's World Championship, Saturday evening at Turin's Pala Alpitour.
Brazil, will now compete in their fifth straight and sixth overall final of a World Championship, vying for their fourth world title.
The South Americans will face on Sunday in the final the winner of the second semifinal, following at 21:15 local time (19:15 GMT), between defending champions Poland and USA. Serbia will play for bronze against the loser of the Poland v Serbia game.Aleksandar Atanasijevic of Serbia spikes against Luiz Felipe 'Lipe' Fonteles and Lucas Saatkamp of Brazil Saturday evening in the semifinals of the 2018 FIVB World Championship in Turin.
It took Brazil two pair of extraordinarily accurate hands to catch the pass for the final against Serbia: Bruno Rezende and William Arjona took turns and made the Selecao unmarkable as Brazil dominated completely.
When they first met, early in the tournament, their minds seemed to be full of doubts about their true potential; but some twenty days later, Serbia and Brazil entered the semifinals as the two teams that had grown the most along the way - and with very clear ideas on what to do.
A nearly packed Pala Alpitour could appreciate an impressive offensive quality in both teams, as Brazil ended with a 61% attack percentage and Serbia "only" 52%.
The first two sets were dominated by Bruno, whose hands gave Brazil the chance to play their best offensive volleyball so far: old friend Lucas Saatkamp (10 points, 7/7 attack) allowed the son of legendary Bernardo to propose a number of first tempo attacks that you will not find in volleyball playbooks.
Felipe 'Lipe' Fonteles was the go-to guy when the ball was hot - and did not disappoint, closing his match with 8 out of 12 attacks transformed without suffering killer blocks or making errors.
In the third set the Serbians opted for a change of attitude, driven by Aleksandar Atanasijevic (16 points) and Uros Kovacevic (71% attack, 14 points).
The double-handed lob, a signature play for Uros, created confusion in the Brazilian defensive line, and coach Renan Dal Zotto chose to put William Arjona in as he had successfully did against Russia. And the 39-year old backup setter not only gave the Brazilians fresh offensive ideas, but he also single-handedly blocked Marko Ivovic in the decisive action of the match, giving Lucas the chance to close it.Quick links - Volleyball:FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Italy-Bulgaria 2018NewsScheduleCompetitionTeamsResults and rankingTicketsVolleyball TV