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10/05/2014 11:48
Belogorie moves on to Club World Championship final
News from the FIVB

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, May 10, 2014.  Belogorie BELGOROD from Russia and AL-RAYYAN from Qatar will play on Saturday for the gold medal at the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship in Belo Horizonte.  The European champions won their semifinal against Argentina’s UPCN SAN JUAN, while AL-RAYYAN provided a tough hit to local team and defending champion Sada Cruzeiro BELO HORIZONTE.

After losing the first set in a clear way, the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League winner Belogorie played at top form to qualify for the final match of the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship in Belo Horizonte. The Russian team turned around the match against UPCN and won by 3:1 (19-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-20).

Performing well in all aspects of the game, György Grozer was on top of the scoring table with 18 points, joined by Dmitriy Muserskiy with 15. The same amount was charted by a key player for the game - Dmitriy Ilinykh, who entered for the first set and stayed on court until the end.  UPCN had in Brazilian opposite Theo Lopes their best display, also with 15 tallies.

The first semifinal match at Belo Horizonte started as a chess game, with very slight details deciding the action. A couple of successful defensive efforts form UPCN generated counter-spikes from Theo and Bogdan Olteanu to a 10-8 score. From then on, UPCN served extraordinary well and escaped to 16-11 combining blocks and some smart spiking by Javier Filardi. Martín Ramos smashed at 20-15 and a long attack from Belogorie pushed UPCN even closer (21-15). A great back-hand touch by Demian Gonzalez established the 24-19 and Filardi hammered the 25-19.

Grozer made two exactly identical serves and aced twice for a quick answer from Belogorie (5-2), providing the Russian team the chance to arrive ahead at the technical time-out by 8-4. In a set completely opposite to the previous one, it was Belogorie who easily advanced to 14-7 after a touch by Bogomolov. The gap widened to 10 points at 20-10 and it was rather easy for the European champion to level the game. Grozer contributed with a stuff block and, using the same weapon, Muserskiy finished it off at 25-14.

With Ilinykh, Belgorod improved in reception and Tetyukhin settled his side at 13-9, after a first part that was closer than the previous ones.  Filardi was not able to defeat a tremendous triple block from Belogorie and the score turned into 16-12, but the Argentinean wing-spiker had his rematch in the next ball. UPCN managed to tie at 17 after a block from Theo and a net fault, but Bogomolov achieved the side-out and, later on, Ilinykh unleashed two great serves for a 22-19. Grozer scored the three next points towards the 25-21.

The game remained leveled in the fourth set, until a block from Grozer over Olteanu right before the first technical time-out (8-6). Muserskiy scored the same way and Belogorie advanced to 13-11, with UPCN much better in attacking, but unable to reduce the gap. Ilinykh nailed his third ace at 16-13 and repeated after the break, to 17-13. Even though UPCN got closer, Ilinykh opened the final track at 20-18 and he blocked a while later (22-19). Rounding up a very successful entrance for Belogorie, the same Ilinykh achieved the place in the final by 25-20.

Taras Khtey, Belogorie captain:  "I am happy that we won against a very good team like UPCN. In Russia today (May 9) we celebrate a national holiday, the Victory Day, so achieving this win is great for us. We are very happy for making it to the final, but the most important match is on Saturday and we will prepare for it."

Gennady Shipulin, Belogorie head coach: "We know that many people follow us in Russia, so this victory is for them, as well as our thanks. I also want to thank UPCN because today it was a very good game, fairly played, and we are very satisfied with the match. For the final opponent, it is the same for us, as both are very good teams. We have to do well and rest, because it will be our fifth game in a row."

The greatest upset of the tournament so far was the main highlight of Day 5 in Brazil. Sada Cruzeiro managed to earn the first set after trailing from the beginning, but then AL-RAYYAN did some heavy damage from the service line and walked to a final 3:1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-18).  The Qatari squad nailed 9 direct serving points, with Robertlandy Simon scoring three and a total of 16 points, while Matey Kaziyski and Michael Sanchez Bozhulev aced twice each and completed personal scores of 17 and 14 points respectively.

For the great closure of the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship, this Saturday, UPCN and Sada Cruzeiro will play for the bronze medal at 16:30 local time.  Finally, at 19:00, Belogorie and AL-RAYYAN will decide the new world champion.

Click here for more information on the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship.

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