Netherlands sizzled in the crunch to outplay Argentina, 22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-19, 15-13, Saturday in Week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League Men’s Leg at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Down 12-11 in the fifth set, Nimir Abdel-Aziz orchestrated an assault as the Dutch crew scored three straight points to put it at match point, 14-12.
Ezequiel Palacios briefly breathed life on Argentina with a down-the-line spike, but Nimir answered back with his own smash to give Netherlands its fifth win in eight matches for 14 points.
The victory also put them at fifth place in the 16-team pool with only the top 8 teams advancing to the next phase after the eliminations.
Nimir was dependable as ever as he finished with another impressive performance of 24 points including 21 kills.
Reinforcements came from Bennie Tuinstra, who pumped in 18 points, as well as Gijs Jorna, who chipped in 12 points.
Fabian Plak also flexed his muscles with 14 points on 11 kills, three blocks and five aces, including the crucial service ace that put it at match point.
For a moment, Argentina was dictating the pace in the fifth set with their combination plays courtesy of setter Matias Sanchez until they saw their 9-5 lead vanish with Netherlands scoring four straight points including back-to-back blocks.
Bruno Lima and Agustin Loser attempted to lift the Argentineans with their ferocious kills, but the Dutch were too hot to handle in the crucial moments.
Bruno finished with 21 points off 19 attacks while Palacios added 19 points for Argentina, which slipped to its sixth defeat against two victories for eight points in 12th place.
Agustin also scored 16 points even as Luciano Vicentin had 14 points, but their efforts went futile.