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03/03/2021 21:00
MILANO and Ziraat Bankasi to fight for #CEVChallengeCupM crown
CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2021 - Men

Luxembourg, March 3, 2021. Allianz Powervolley MILANO and Ziraat Bankasi ANKARA will be vying for the men’s CEV Challenge Cup 2021 title after progressing to the final stage of this competition in rather contrasting fashion.

Allianz Powervolley MILANO needed three sets only (25-20, 25-22, 25-20) to edge past Halkbank ANKARA after previously claiming a 3-1 away victory in the Turkish capital last week. Actually, MILANO had already secured their ticket to the title-deciding matches after winning the second set of their re-match with Halkbank, sealed by an ace of their star player Tine Urnaut. Some of the reserve players took to the court in the third set for the Italians, with Brazilian Luan Jose Weber scoring the final point for a comprehensive 3-0 victory.

“We cared very much about this match because a victory would have allowed us to progress to the finals of the Challenge Cup, which is one of our main goals this season,” said MILANO head coach Roberto Piazza. “We especially focused on starting the match in the best way, knowing that in Ankara we had lost the first set and had to come from behind. I am extremely satisfied with what I could see tonight. My players showed a very good approach and spirit, so we can now focus on the next stage of this competition.”

After surprisingly losing 0-3 last week in the Czech Republic, Ziraat Bankasi ANKARA had a mountain to climb in their semi-final with VK Lvi PRAHA, even more so after losing the first set (26-28) of the re-match on Wednesday night. However, the Turkish team regrouped and swept three sets in a row before claiming the deciding Golden Set (15-12) as well. Martin Atanasov (26), Wouter ter Maat (18) and Maarten van Garderen (18) played a leading role in this come-from-behind victory for the team coached by Italian Giampaolo Medei.

Allianz Powervolley MILANO will be hosting the first round of the finals on March 17, followed a week later by the re-match in the Turkish capital.

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