RIMINI, Italy, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Brazil and Poland marched towards the men's Volleyball National League semifinals after sweeping respective opponents here on Thursday.
Brazil eased past Australia 25-17, 25-22 and 25-12 for their 11th victory in 12 fixtures with Isac Santos and Mauricio Silva contributing 11 points apiece. With three matches remaining for each team in the 16-team round-robin preliminaries, Brazil led the standings with 32 points.
"This victory is very important for our team. We have a great group of players - if someone is needed, he enters the court and he tries to be perfect," said Silva. "Everyone was ready to play and give his best and it's our greatest strength. We have not only six players, but the entire group is very strong."
Poland beat Germany 25-22, 25-19 and 25-20 to improve to a 10-2 win-loss record. Bartosz led the Polish scoring with 16 points.
"Germany played today a really nice game. They served really well and we were a little bit surprised with their starting six that went out to the court, but we won so it's good for us. Now we have three days off and I hope we will use it well," said Piotr Nowakowski, who had seven points for Poland.
Slovenia rallied past Iran 14-25, 25-20, 25-19 and 32-30 for their ninth win in 12 matches. Poland and Slovenia stood second and third, followed by Russia, France and Serbia.
Also on Thursday, Argentina beat Serbia 3-0, Russia tamed Bulgaria 3-0, Canada overcame Japan 3-0, the United States twice rallied from one set down to beat the Netherlands 3-2 and Italy outlasted France 3-2.
The 16 teams will have three days off with the action to resume on Monday with the top four finishers from the preliminaries to qualify for the semifinals.