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2023 VNL Season

VNL: Alessandro Michieletto tows Italy past Brazil in 4


Italy turned a first-set setback into a come-from-behind victory over Brazil, securing a much-needed win with a score of 23-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-21 on Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Alessandro Michieletto led the reigning World Champions to their crucial fifth win against three losses, tying them with Brazil for third place.

Italy ended a two-game skid to Brazil with the victory as well.

In the final set, Italy gained an important advantage when Gianluca Galassi denied Henrique Honorato’s attempt, giving them a 22-20 lead. Ultimately, Daniele Lavia secured the win with an ace.

Michieletto, 21, finished with 17 points, including 14 attacks and three service aces, while also contributing to the defense with a remarkable 41.67 percent digging efficiency.

“Brazil is a strong team, one of the best in the world, so we fought because we need points to advance to the Final Phase in Poland,” said setter and captain Simone Giannelli, highlighting the significance of this important win. “We were down 1-0, but we came back and played better.”

In the opening set, Brazil managed to pull ahead with a 25-23 victory, thanks to Souza Ricardo Lucarelli’s ace and an Honorato Henrique kill when the score was tied at 22 all.

In the second set, Brazil took an early 7-2 lead as Italy struggled with its reception pattern. However, the Italians relied on their counter-attacking options, setting up Yuri Romanó and Michieletto for an 18-12 advantage and eventually winning the set 25-20 to level the score.

Building on their momentum, the 2021 European champions established a commanding 16-10 lead through consecutive kills from Lavia and Michieletto. Brazil’s errors, both in their attacks and defensive alignment, compounded their woes and paved the way for Italy’s comeback victory.

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Romanó led the Italian attack with 20 points, including 16 spikes and four aces, while Giannelli made his VNL return count with 12 points and a 16 percent setting clip.

Italy will seek to continue their ascent as they face Canada on Thursday at 3 p.m.

Honorato led Brazil with 15 markers, including 14 attacks and an ace, while Lucarelli added 11 points with nine spikes and two aces.

Brazil will earlier face the Netherlands on the same day at 11 a.m.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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