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15/05/2014 13:00
To make European Championship Finals would be the icing on the cake – Hugo Gaspar
2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men

Porto, Portugal, May 15, 2014. Hugo Gaspar, who returned this year to Portugal’s national team, sounds confident ahead of the European Championship qualifier coming up this weekend at Vila do Conde. “We always hope for the best and we have been preparing very intensively for these home matches,” he says. “We have to think positive knowing that if we perform strong, we can achieve some good results.”

The outside hitter who this year won his second consecutive title in the national league with SL BENFICA, adds: “Austria and Finland are our main competitors for that ticket to the Final Round of the European Championship. We will play Austria in the opening match of this home tournament and we do not know exactly their value. Austria has a set of players that includes some who have played in the most competitive leagues in Europe this year, so I am predicting a very close match. It is imperative that we exploit the home advantage this weekend since the qualification for the Final Round may finally depend on one single point.”

“If we make the Finals of the European Championship, that would be the icing on the cake,” Gaspar adds. “It is always very difficult to make the European or World Championship Final Rounds because you get to play strong and very competitive teams. If this happens, that would pay back the hard work we have done in the lead-up to these tournaments,” Gaspar concludes.

Portugal will open their quest for a spot in the Finals of the 2015 European Championship by hosting the national teams of Austria, Finland, and Republic of Moldova from Friday through Sunday at Vila do Conde before the competition resumes next week in Vantaa, Finland. The eventual winner of this double round robin will claim a ticket to the Finals of the CEV Volleyball European Championship to be co-hosted by Bulgaria and Italy in October next year.

Click here for more info including a detailed match programme

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