FINALS

 

REXONA-ADES WINS SALONPAS CUP FOR SECOND TIME
Team beat Finasa/Osasco by 3 to 0 in final. Cimed/Macaé wins bronze

In a rousing game this Saturday morning, Rexona-Ades won the Salonpas Cup for the second time, beating Finasa/Osasco by 3 sets to 0, with partial results of 30/28, 25/22 and 25/17, in a game lasting 89 minutes. This was the second victory for the Rio team, which had won the competition, also against Finasa, in 2004. With the title, Rexona-Ades receives a prize of US$ 10,000. In the decision for third place, Cimed/Macaé beat Hisamitsu Springs (Japan) by 3 sets to 0 (25/18, 25/23 and 25/19). The Salonpas Cup, which has been taking place in the Ibirapuera Stadium since September 29, featured six teams.

The Brazilian final of the 2006 Salonpas Cup attracted a large crowd to Ibirapuera, maintaining the average of the previous days. The public was cheering all through the game and after a beginning favorable to Finasa, which is after all from São Paulo, ended up succumbing to the great performance put on by Rexona-Ades. Irrespective of the sides playing, the public were treated to a great game between two of the main teams in Brazilian womenfs volleyball.

The Rexona-Ades victory is a perfect example of drive and determination. With four players out of the team playing for the Brazilian team, the team did not deliver what might be expected from the National champion in the first part of the competition. Ups and downs had the team directors worried during the classifying phase. The team came in third place and faced the second position Cimed/Macaé, in the semi-final. But from this game on, Rexona started to grow in the competition.

During the game, the Rio team did not give its opponents a chance. After a balanced first set, the team led by Hélio Griner set the pace for the game, with Finasa trailing behind.  It was evident that the São Paulo team had lost its concentration in the beginning of the second set, when the score reached 3/12. With an advantage of 2 to 0, Rexona-Ades kept tight control in the third set, ensuring its second victory in the Salonpas Cup.

According to coach Hélio Griner, the third place in the classifying rounds removed the weight of responsibility from his players. gThe team had a completely abnormal start, oscillating a lot, so much so that we won three of the games in the fifth set. In the two last matches, the semi-final and final, we had our best performancesh, said the trainer. gIt was important for us to win the Salonpas. From now on these girls will have a different attitude. Since this is a young team, the title has given them more confidenceh, he added.

Happy with the victory, the coach of the Brazilian menfs team and of Rexona in the Superleague, Bernardo Rezende or Bernardinho, stressed the importance of the Salonpas Cup. gEven though it is a short tournament, it is an opportunity for the Brazilian teams to refine the pace of their game and for foreign teams to learn more about Brazilian volleyballh, he commented.
Jefferson Arosti, assistant coach of Finasa, talked about the difficulties of playing a high level classic game. gIn a game between two strong teams who are used to finals, anything can happen. The little details end up being decisive. In this game, the team did not have the experience to overcome the difficulties they were facing. However, we must recognize that the opposing team played well and deserved the titleh, he stated.

CIMED/MACAÉ GETS BRONZE

In the game to decide third place, Cimed/Macaé came out on top. The Rio team beat the Hisamitsu Springs, Japanese vice-champion, by 3 sets to 0, with partial results of 25/18, 25/23 and 25/19. The 71 minute game ensured the bronze medal for Cimed. Placed third in the 2005/06 Superleague, Cimed/Macaé staged a very auspicious debut in the Salonpas Cup.

For the trainer Sérgio Negrão, participation in the cup was good for the team. gThird is a good position. Without a doubt, we were aiming to win, but Finasa and Rexona-Ades, even with key players missing, are still very strong teams. What is important is that Cimed has shown everyone that it is here and that the distance between the them and the top teams in the country is closing. This is proved by the fact we beat Rexona-Ades. Soon we will catch up with themh, Negrão concluded. The team will now concentrate on the Rio de Janeiro championship and start its preparations for the 2006/07 National Superleague.

The captain Patrícia Cocco was also positive about the teamfs presence in the Salonpas Cup. gWe feel bad about not getting into the final, but this happened due to our mistakes. Whatever, we received the bronze medal for our performance in the cup, where we won five out of seven games, which is not at all badh, said the experienced attacker.

The Japanese team was resigned to its fourth place. After all, as the trainer himself said, their objective of being placed among the top four teams was achieved. The setter Sano confirmed this. gWe achieved what we had planned. In addition to this, we had the chance to play against some strong teams and to learn something new about the game, especially where the Brazilian teams are concernedh, she exclaimed.

THE BEST OF THE SALONPAS CUP

The final classification of the 2005 Salonpas Cup was as follows:

Champion: Rexona-Ades (BRA), (US$ 10,000)

Vice-champion: Finasa/Osasco (BRA);

3rd: Cimed/Macaé (BRA);

4th Hisamitsu Springs (JAP);

5th Schweriner SC (GER),

6th.  River Plate (ARG).

Prizes for best performances in the tournament:

Fofinha (Cimed/Macaé) best player (US$ 3,000)

Hélio Griner (Rexona-Ades) best coach; (US$1,000)

Natália (Finasa) best attack; (US$ 1,000)

Eth (Cimed/Macaé) best setter; (US$ 1,000)

Adenizia (Finasa) best blocker; (US$ 1,000)

Sano (Hisamitsu) best defense; (US$ 1,000)

Thaisa (RexonaAdes) best service; (US$ 1,000)

Linda (Schweriner) best reception (US$ 1,000)