LONDON (AP) -- After being the impetus for Brazil's men's volleyball dominance over the last decade, Giba proved to be a big part of its Olympics demise Sunday.
The London Games showed Giba, one of the world's best player, was still not completely recovered from left leg surgery. He made just four appearances in London, including the late stages of Sunday's final defeat to Russia, which rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2.
The 35-year-old wing spiker failed to make an impact against the Russians as Brazil lost both momentum and the gold after he appeared with Brazil leading 23-22 in the third set. Giba lost his serve as Russia equalized before going on to save two championship points to win the set, get back into the match and gain the momentum.
Giba started the fourth set, but looked hesitant. He twice preferred to try soft drop shots over spikes and failed to dig the powerful smashes of 2.18-meter (7-foot-2) Dimitriy Muserskiy, who finished with a game-high 31 points.
"To finish my career with the silver medal is not like I imagine. After the perfect two sets, it's not what I expect," Giba said, fighting back his emotions. "I tried to do everything my best as I do every day of training of my life."
The unexpected Russian turnaround was clinched by Muserskiy, who dumbfounded Brazil after being moved wide from his normal central spot.
Coach Bernardo Rezende said he had to take a gamble and play his captain - who didn't feature in a single elimination game until Sunday - considering his wealth of experience and his fresh legs with the Brazilians tiring.
"I thought he could bring back some life to the team with his experience. I will be thinking about this decision for much time in my future," Rezende said. "I had to try something and it didn't work. They had to try something and it worked."
Giba has been integral to Brazilian volleyball and his first appearance since the group phase elicited roars of approval from within the crowd of 15,000 fans at Earls Court. He played most of the third and fourth sets with fellow wing spiker Dante Amaral hurt, but he never really looked himself as the storybook finale did not come.
Giba, whose full name is Gilberto Godoy Filho, didn't expect too be criticized in his native Brazil despite the men failing to follow up the women and win gold before going home for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
"I'm proud of my entire career, there was no tournament where we didn't win," said Giba, who helped Brazil win gold in Athens in 2004 and silver four years ago in Beijing.
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