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11/02/2015 23:02
Skra makes big step forward towards Playoffs 6
2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Civitanova Marche, Italy, February 11, 2015.  PGE Skra BELCHATOW scored a great 3:0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-13) away win in front of the 4,000 spectators at the Palazzetto dello Sport hall to claim a solid advantage after the first leg of Playoffs 12 clash with Cucine Lube TREIA in the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men.

The Italian champions, who were missing the Polish star and former Skra player, injured Bartosz Kurek, had a good start in the first set, as they got up to an early 8-5 lead and could keep it through13-11 with a good attack of the opposite Giulio Sabbi.  But the Polish team got back to 14-14 with the good performance of Argentinean spiker Facundo Conte (7 points, with 67% success rate in attack), who was also a big protagonist in the decisive final moment of the set, closed at 25-22 in favour of Skra.

In the second set the visitors quickly cruised to 15-10 with great attacks by Conte and Mariusz Wlazly and contribution from the blockers.  Cucine Lube’s mentor Alberto Giuliani replaced the setter Michele Baranowicz with Natale Monopoli, and the opposite Sabbi with the veteran Alessandro Fei, but the situation did not change.  The final 25-19 was sealed by Mariusz Wlazly.

The third set continued that same trend with Skra opening a margin of two points at the first technical time-out.  The Italian champions, who replaced the spiker Jiri Kovar with the young Chilean player Dusan Bonacic, suddenly lost their rhythm and Skra rushed to a lead of 7 points at the second mandatory break.  By showing a good performance in all fundamentals the Polish squad deservedly won the third set by 25-13 finishing the match with a 3:0 victory.

“The Polish team played very better than us in serving and attacking,” said the home side’s head coach Alberto Giuliani.  “But I am confident for the return match, because the history of Lube in this competition says that it always got the qualification after losing the home match.”

On the other side, the top scorer of the match and former Lube player Facundo Conte (16 points) was very satisfied:  “I was very happy to come here to play and meet a lot of friends, and I am very satisfied tonight with the performance of my team and, of course, with the result.  We have not qualified for the Playoffs 6 yet, but this was a big step forward.”

Click here for more info, including match statistics.

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