Canada delivered when it mattered the most by scoring a 23-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-18 victory over China to dodge a possible relegation in the Volleyball Nations League men’s tournament Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
After dropping a close first-set, the Canadians owned the next three frames for a big win to avoid last-place complications and maintain a spot in the VNL featuring the top-ranked squads in the world.
It’s the first but the biggest win for the world No. 16 Canada in the Philippine leg of the VNL.
Canada, after bowing to Poland, Italy and the Netherlands, thus finished its campaign at 3-9 to break free from the jampacked bottom half of the pack featuring Iran (2-9), Bulgaria (2-9), Cuba (2-9) and China (2-10) in a rumble for VNL retention.
As only the eight teams will qualify in the final round of the VNL on 19 to 24 July in Gdansk City, Poland, the lowest-ranked squad in the 16-team cast, however, gets a demotion to the Volleyball Challenger Cup, whose winner gains VNL promotion.