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16/03/2017 00:30
Italian standout teams upset Polish crowds on second night of Playoffs 12
2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Luxembourg, March 15, 2017. The Playoffs 12 of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men provided Volleyball fans with quite a bit of drama on Wednesday night with two closely fought five-set matches, where Azimut MODENA and ISTANBUL BBSK emerged victorious from their respective tiebreaks with Asseco Resovia RZESZOW and BERLIN Recycling Volleys. Elsewhere, Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA upset 8,100 fans in Lodz by rallying to a 3-1 victory over eight-time Polish champions PGE Skra BELCHATOW and Belogorie BELGOROD were responsible for another setback for Poland’s Volleyball family as they beat Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE by the same score.

ISTANBUL BBSK and BERLIN Recycling Volleys opened the programme on Wednesday late afternoon – and the Turkish team, who are making their first ever appearance in the Playoffs of Europe’s elite club competition, rallied to a 3-2 home victory (25-20, 30-32, 25-22, 20-25, 15-13) to claim a small advantage ahead of the re-match due to take place in the German capital.

The second tiebreak match of the day followed later in the evening in Poland where Italy’s reigning national champions Azimut MODENA fought back twice from one set down to record a 3-2 victory (23-25, 25-19, 25-27, 25-19, 15-12) propelled by their superstar Earvin Ngapeth. “It was a great game but unfortunately, we had many ups and downs. We nevertheless played a good match. I would like to thank the fans for the great atmosphere today. They are always our seventh player. Despite the loss, we are going to Modena in high spirits. The result of this tie is still open. We will give it everything, our best,” said Resovia outside spiker Marko Ivovic after the match.

There was not much to celebrate on Wednesday night for the Polish Volleyball fans as PGE Skra BELCHATOW also lost their home match to another Italian team – Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA. Tsvetan Sokolov and Osmany Juantorena paced the Italians towards a 3-1 victory (25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 25-21) before a crowd of 8,100. “We kept our heads clear in the crucial moments. We were concentrated until the very end and managed to serve very well despite our opponents’ great reception. Nicolas Uriarte did a great job in trying to surprise our block but we stopped their attackers in the most important rallies,” commented Cucine Lube head coach Gianlorenzo Blengini.

To cause further disappointment to the Volleyball fans living in Poland, the country’s national champions Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE lost their first matchup with Belogorie BELGOROD as well. The Russian ‘Lions’ used the home-court advantage to cruise to a 3-1 victory after coming back from a disastrous opening set (13-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-20). After the match, Belogorie coach Alexander Kosarev stated that the team spirit and character made the difference for his squad. “We made too many mistakes and could not cope with Zaksa’s service in the first set. However, we could survive after that shock and were able to change the course of the game in our favour,” he said.

The first round of the Playoffs 12 will finish on Thursday with Arkas IZMIR hosting Russia’s Dinamo MOSCOW at Atatürk Volleyball Hall in Turkey’s third largest city.

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