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10/03/2015 18:25
Tsvetan Sokolov confident Halkbank can eliminate Zenit from the race for the Champions League crown
2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Ankara, Turkey, March 10, 2015. Though they lost in three straight sets the away match played last week in Russia, Turkey’s Halkbank ANKARA are still determined to fight for their promotion to the Final Four of the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men. Last year’s silver medallists will be trying to accomplish this feat on Wednesday night once they host Russia’s Zenit KAZAN for the ‘Match of the Week’ in the Playoffs 6 of Europe’s elite competition.  

The players from Turkey’s capital have been working really hard and have completed their preparations for the big match coming up on Wednesday night at Baskent Volleyball Hall. “Our only goal is to win the re-match and we are confident that we can make this happen,” says the Bulgarian opposite of Halkbank, Tsvetan Sokolov, who joined the ranks of the team for the 2014/2015 season. Even though Halkbank’s history in the competition is not that long, last year they were close to seize the crown and eventually lost only the final match to another Russian armada, Belogorie BELGOROD.  

“We are a good team and as such we first made it through the League Round and then in the Playoffs 12 we edged past another hot candidate to win the title, Belogorie BELGOROD,” Sokolov says. “We lost our first match with Zenit KAZAN due to bad luck and some more unfortunate things that happened to our team. However, we believe that this is going to be a different story here in Ankara. As long as you believe in your chances of turning the tide, you have already accomplished half of your mission. We will be using all of our weapons in the best possible way and we should not forget that everything is possible in sport. We can boast the right degree of self-confidence and we expect that the Halkbank family and especially our supporters will be sharing this attitude and way of approaching the game.”

Sokolov has already spent some months in Turkey and reveals that he has adjusted pretty well to life in Ankara. “I am getting more and more used to living here every day and I like Turkish cuisine very much. I eat a little bit of everything: kebab, meatballs, döner, regional delights etc. They are all delicious but I especially like simit, which is some kind of circular bread, usually encrusted with sesame seeds. Having a combination of tea, simit and cheese at the shop that is located just nearby our sports hall before our trainings and matches is a really good thing and I enjoy it much more than spending my time at some coffee shops of international chains. We are all going to eat our share of simit once we eliminate Zenit from this competition,” he jokes.

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