Praia's collective game proved too strong for Osasco (Photo: Cristiano Andujar//CBV)

Dentil Praia Clube are now eight points clear at the top of the standings of the Brazilian Superliga after the reigning South American champions secured an important victory against third-placed Osasco Sao Cristovao Saude on Tuesday.

Praia were dominant against the five-time Superliga winners, claiming a straight-set (25-22, 25-22, 25-19) victory to reach 38 points (13 wins, one loss) in the standings. Itambe Minas come next with 30 (ten wins, two losses) while Osasco have 27 (ten wins, two losses).

Dutch national team outside hitter Anne Buijs led all scorers with 15 points (all in kills), while the other four Praia starting hitters – Dominican sisters Brayelin and Jineiry Martinez, Tokyo Olympic medallist Ana Carolina ‘Carol’ da Silva and outside hitter Kasiely Clemente – added eight each.

The diversified offensive production highlighted a good performance by backup setter Lyara Batista, who stepped up to replace South American Club Championship MVP Claudinha Bueno, who was injured.

“Lyara came in with a big responsibility and did a great job for us tonight,” Buijs, who received the Player of the Match award, said. “It was a really good performance from our entire team in what was a very important match for us. Osasco have an excellent team and are even stronger after the arrival of Cerem (Kestirengoz), so this result is really encouraging.”

Osasco had three players reaching double digits in scoring in opposite Tiffany Abreu with 13 (12 kills, one ace), American middle blocker Rachael Adams with 11 (nine kills, two blocks) and Olympic champion Fabiana Claudino with ten (six kills, three blocks, one ace).

Both Praia and Osasco now turn their attentions to the Brazilian Cup, where they will meet SESI Bauru and Minas respectively in the semifinals, on Sunday.