Brazil’s Roraima overpower T&T’s Big SEPOS in finale

Tradewind Tankers International Invitational Volleyball tournament …

The Inaugural edition of the Tradewind Tankers International Invitational Volleyball Tournament came to a thrilling conclusion early yesterday morning as Brazilian state club Roraima overcame Big South East Port of Spain (SEPOS) in the final at the National Gymnnasium.

A gruelling battle ensued between the two teams which finished at 01:30hrs yesterday morning with Roraima prevailing 3-1 in the three-best-of-five finals format. Big SEPOS, the Trinidadian club that had managed an impressive unbeaten streak of seven straight games, were favoured to win but the persistent Brazilians kept applying the pressure until Big SEPOS were eventually reduced to the second place finishers.

Roraima, fired up from their dramatic victory against Suriname’s Lzeck’s in the semi-final, seemed to have carried the momentum from that tough encounter into the final. The result was a dominant 25-15 win in the first set to establish the tone for the finals. That first set defeat woke up the Big SEPOS players who had a relatively easy match against Port Mourant Training Centre (PMTC)in their semi-final encounter which they won 2-0 (25-18, 25-21).

Big SEPOS rebounded win a resounding 25-21 win in the second game despite much resistance from Roraima. Big SEPOS seemed to possess the edge once again in the third set with efficient striking and solid blocking at the net. Roraima stuck with their game plan and never allowed the lead to get out of reach. With the scoreboard displaying a two point (16-14) advantage in favour of Big SEPOS, one of Roraima’s blockers sustained an injury and had to be carried off the court. This gave his team a much needed break to recuperate as well as an opportunity for fresh players to take the floor. Roraima’s coach brought a few of the younger and fresher players into the game to provide a burst of energy and help reclaim the momentum and that strategy paid dividends late in the game.

Roraima managed to come from 20-23 down to force a ‘win-by-two’ situation after tying the game at 24. The winded Big SEPOS team, which did not have as many subs on their bench as Roraima, were put under pressure late and conceded the third set 28-26.  The come-from-behind win in the third set, fuelled Roraima to push ahead early in the fourth set and they never looked back. Even though, Big SEPOS attempted to close the deficit late, Roraima used their timeouts efficient to break momentum and strategized to limit all of the comebacks of their opponents.

Roraima had defeated a weakened Lzecks side 25-22, 25-22 in their semi-final encounter. Even though many of the Lzecks players were injured, they managed to put up much resistance against the eventual champions. PMTC, the only Guyanese team to reach the final four, also gave a valiant effort but they lacked the height, power and experience to compete evenly with the seasoned campaigners from Big SEPOS. Roraima’s juniors also won all of their encounters against Guyana’s junior boys and girls team respectively as well as the encounters with Guyana’s mixed compilation.

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