Rotterdam, Netherlands, August 10, 2019 – The top spot on the final standings in Pool B of Tokyo Volleyball Qualification will be decided in a direct battle between United States and hosts Netherlands on Sunday, after both teams managed their second wins of the tournament in Rotterdam on Saturday. Nimir Abdel-Aziz, with 21 points to his name, was the best scorer in the 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-20) Dutch victory over Belgium. The Americans emerged from their encounter with Korea with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-16) win. Aaron Russell topped the scorers’ chart of the match with 12 points.
Belgium - Netherlands (August 10, 2019)
• Belgium and Netherlands meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Belgium and Netherlands both won five of their 10 meetings in major world level tournaments (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• These nations last met at world level in the 2015 World League. Netherlands and Belgium both recorded one five-set and one straight-set win against each other in that tournament.
• Netherlands won five of their eight matches against Belgium at the European championship.
• Belgium and Netherlands met only once at the European championship in the last 30 years. In the 2017 group stage, Belgium won in straight sets.
• Belgium opened their quest for a Tokyo 2020 ticket with a 3-1 defeat against United States.
• Belgium appeared in the Olympic Games only once. In 1968, they finished in eighth place in Mexico City.
• Tomas Rousseaux (12), Sam Deroo (11) and Hendrik Tuerlinckx (11) were Belgium's top points scorers versus United States.
• Tuerlinckx and Bram Van Den Dries (both 2) registered multiple stuff blocks won on Friday in Rotterdam.
• Netherlands fought back from a 2-0 set deficit to beat Republic of Korea 3-2 in their opener. Netherlands outscored Korea by 114 to 108 points.
• Netherlands hope to qualify for the Olympic Games for the seventh time, and for the first time since 2004. They finished on the podium on two occasions – gold in 1996 and silver in 1992.
• Thijs Ter Horst and Nimir Abdel-Aziz scored a team high 16 points each in Rotterdam on Friday. Abdel-Aziz reached this total despite remaining on the bench in the last two sets.
• Fabian Plak and Nimir Abdel-Aziz had five stuff blocks won each against Republic of Korea, as many as all Korean players combined (5).
United States - Korea (August 10, 2019)
• United States and Republic of Korea meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• United States won 18 of their 24 matches against Republic of Korea at major world level (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• United States won each of their last seven world level matches versus Republic of Korea, since a 3-2 defeat at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
• United States won the other two meetings with Republic of Korea at the Olympic Games, 3-2 in 1964 and 3-0 in 1984.
• United States defeated Republic of Korea in straight sets in the 2018 Volleyball Nations League, their most recent world level encounter.
• United States beat Belgium 3-1 in their qualifying opener in Rotterdam.
• United States is one of three NOCs to have appeared in the men's tournament in each of the last nine Olympic Games (1984-2016), alongside Italy and Brazil.
• Only Brazil (14) have appeared in more Olympic Games than United States (11). USA won the Olympic gold medal a joint-record three times, alongside Brazil and Soviet Union.
• Aaron Russell (19) and Matthew Anderson (17) were the two players to score the most points for United States versus Belgium.
• Maxwell Holt and Garrett Muagututia (both 10) also reached double figures in points for United States in the match on Friday.
Republic of Korea
• Republic of Korea could not hold on to a 2-0 lead in sets against Netherlands on Friday, falling 15-12 in the fifth set.
• Republic of Korea are still aiming for their first Olympic Games since Sydney 2000.
• Chul-Woo Park (19), Gyeong-Bok Na (17), Jiseok Jung (16) and Yung-Suk Shin (10) were the players to reach double figures in points for Republic of Korea in Rotterdam on Friday.
• Jae-Hwi Kim was the only player representing Republic of Korea who scored at least one point from attacks (4), blocks (2) and serves (1) against Netherlands.
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