China crumbled to a second successive defeat on the second day of the FIVB women's World Grand Prix finals. After losing 3-2 to Cuba in an opening-day thriller, China went down tamely 3-0 to Italy yesterday for the second time in five confidence-shattering days. The Italians, who had beaten China in preliminary round action in Hong Kong on Sunday, swept aside the Olympic champions 25-16, 25-21, 25-22 in just 67 minutes. In the day's other action, defending World Grand Prix champions Brazil came back from 2-1 down in sets to beat Cuba 3-2 in a fast-paced, power-packed spike fest, while Japan recorded their first win in the six-team tournament by beating the Netherlands 3-1. Going into today's rest day, Italy and Brazil both hold 2-0 win-loss records, followed by Cuba and Japan on 1-1 and China and the Netherlands on 0-2. Tomorrow, Italy will play Cuba, the Dutch will face China with both teams looking for their first win, and Brazil will take on Japan in the evening showpiece. The Italians have certainly done their homework on China, who looked anything but gold medal-winners from the Athens Olympics last August. China's most powerful spiker, Yang Hao, was restricted to just seven points, three of them from her booming serve which almost knocked the Italian defenders off their feet. Yang, totally ineffective from her attacking layer on the left, was replaced at the start of the third set, and in her absence Chu Jinling and Zhang Ping carried the Chinese attack. Zhang, who hit the target with some soaring spikes down the middle, had a team-high 13 kills and one blocking winner in her 14-point haul, while Chu also scored 14, from 11 spikes, one block and two service aces. But China could find no answers to the fast and fluid Italian team, for whom Nadia Centoni was unstoppable on the right with 17 searing spikes which carved China's ragged defence to pieces. 'Italy were the better team,' said China coach Chen Zhonghe. 'In the first set I don't think my players understood what they were supposed to be doing and Italy picked up every ball and play.'