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22/02/2016 12:30
VakifBank ready for another ‘big match’ with arch-rivals Eczacibasi
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women

Istanbul, Turkey, February 22, 2016. On Wednesday night VakifBank ISTANBUL will be playing arch-rivals Eczacibasi VitrA for a second time in two weeks to determine which of these powerhouses will be progressing to the Playoffs 6 of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women. VakifBank claimed the first matchup by 3-2 some ten days ago and another close fight is expected to follow later this week.

VakifBank and Eczacibasi have played each other in each of the five last editions of Europe’s premier competition. VakifBank have won eight of their nine matches with Eczacibasi – the only exception being last year’s semi-final in Szczecin, Poland – and back in 2011 the players in yellow and black shirts became Turkey’s first team of any gender to claim Europe’s most coveted Volleyball crown. They repeated the same feat in 2013 before settling for silver and bronze in 2014 and 2015, respectively. As a result, VakifBank are the most decorated team from Turkey when it comes to their results and achievements in the CEV Volleyball Champions League.

VakifBank star player Seda Aslanyürek (Tokatlioglu) said: “Even though we claimed the first match, this does not really make too much of a difference. We know that we have to win the upcoming game as well and if we make less mistakes than our rival, we will be able to move on to the next stage of the competition. Both teams are aiming to win this competition, so it will not be an easy game for either side.”

Serbian-born middle blocker Milena Rasic: “We are expecting another tough match. Of course we are ready for everything. [With our victory in the previous round] we made it just a little closer to the next round and want to use this advantage for the next game. But as I said already, all matches starring these two teams are never easy ones. We have to stay focussed on each and every point and do so from start to finish.”

The head coach of VakifBank ISTANBUL Giovanni Guidetti concluded: “We have to forget the first match and we start anew from scratch. I am waiting for this game like for a final and I am confident that the eventual winners of this clash will progress to the Final Four. We have been preparing for this game like for a final and are aware of how strong Eczacibasi VitrA are. So we need to perform well and on top of this we have to have a little bit of luck on our side as well. I hope the fans will create a great atmosphere as they always do for such kind of matches here in Istanbul.”

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