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19/02/2015 22:48
PGE Skra BELCHATOW claim last spot in Playoffs 6 in front of a sell-out crowd of 12,000 fans
2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men

Lodz, Poland, February 19, 2015. PGE Skra BELCHATOW scored a comfortable victory over Italy’s Cucine Lube TREIA (3:1; 26-24, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21) on Thursday evening to continue their winning path in the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men. PGE Skra claimed the last spot in the Playoffs 6 and will play there with rookies Sir Safety PERUGIA which eliminated another Polish team earlier this week, i.e. last year’s bronze medallists JASTRZEBSKI Wegiel.

The first point of the match was scored by Bartosz Kurek, warmly welcomed by the audience, after the former PGE Skra outside spiker had missed the first match contested last week in Italy because of injury. The opening set showed that the Italian team had come to Lodz really motivated to fight for a spot in the next round of the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men. Lube was leading for most of the time by as many as three points until a nice block of Facundo Conte made it 17:17 for the hosts. Some mistakes by the Italian visitors and the excellent Polish block helped PGE Skra move on within two points of seizing the set at 23:21. Lube managed to level the score at 24 all but a great spike of Srecko Lisinac and an ace contributed by Nicolas Maréchal closed up the first set at 26-24 for Skra.

In the second set, the Italian team got an early lead at 8:4 and built up their advantage throughout the set, making it 16:9 at the second technical time-out. Lube did not lose composure and cashed the set by 25-19 on a spike killed by Simone Parodi.

“The entire game was under our control even though we lost the second set. Then Lube took more risks from the service line and it paid off. The whole Italian team played well from the beginning, they gained a significant advantage and we were unable to catch up. Overall, in my opinion the level of this game was quite high,” stated Skra's middle blocker Andrzej Wrona.

The score stayed very close through the first part of the third set before two points in a row propelled Skra to the front (11:9). Maréchal’s and Lisinac’s strong services helped the hosts widen their lead to 15:11 before Parodi and Kurek managed to reduce the gap of TREIA down to one point (18:19). Fortunately for the hosts some great spiking by Mariusz Wlazly and Srecko Lisinac and a triple block on Kurek made it 22:18 in favour of PGE Skra. The Polish team kept the advantage till the end of this part which was sealed by a great spike of Facundo Conte (25-22). At this stage of the match, 12,000 enthusiastic, yellow and black fans could start their celebrations for PGE Skra’s promotion to the Playoffs 6.

The captain of the visiting team, Marko Podrascanin, commented: “I think we lost this match in the first set, which was very tight, but in the end it was the better team to take control over the game. For us being eliminated from the Champion League at this stage is very disappointing. In my opinion it is always a pleasure to play here in Poland. I wish Skra the best of luck in their attempt to qualify to the Final Four.”

The fourth and last set was played by the second lines – as the home mentor Miguel Angel Falasca decided to opt for Wojciech Wlodarczyk, Andrzej Wrona, and Aleksa Brdjovic while the head coach of Cucine Lube TREIA, Alberto Giuliani, lined up Jiri Kovar and Konstantin Shumov. However, the image of the game did not change much. Skra established an early 12:9 lead and kept it throughout the remainder of the set. Two consecutive points from Maréchal closed the set and the match for BELCHATOW at 25-21.

Srecko Lisinac top scored in the end with 18 points for the hosts whilst Giulio Sabbi contributed 17 for the visitors in their losing effort.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

News nr. 73 of 377
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