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16/01/2019 09:00
Günes and Baranowicz confident Halkbank can cause sensation against Zenit KAZAN
2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Ankara, Turkey, January 15, 2019. Halkbank ANKARA will be playing on Wednesday titleholders Zenit KAZAN in the third leg of the #CLVolleyM. This is likely to be a major challenge for the team from the Turkish capital, but their middle blocker Faik Samed Günes and setter Michele Baranowicz are confident that they can cause a sensation against the Russian armada.

“Since we finished the first half of the Turkish league in first place, we could have some little rest. We really wanted to catch a good start to the season and were able to do so with our victory against Fenerbahce. We have been improving with each round and we want to show our good shape against Zenit KAZAN. They are an incredibly strong team and everyone knows that. They have won the Champions League for four years in a row and we obviously respect them,” Faik said.

“However, we know how strong we can be with the support of our fans. I believe that with their help we can beat Zenit KAZAN. It is still too early to say whether this match can decide about who qualifies from the pool since we still have four rounds to go. We have as many chances to qualify as any other team in the group and we will do our best to achieve this goal. This is my eighth year with Halkbank where I have many friends also since the years I spent with the youth team. We have a young boy, Efe Bayram, who is only 16 and our oldest player, Vefa Yilmaz, is 36. I have friends from the national team playing here as well. We have a mix of young and experienced, local and foreign players and the ambiance in the group is good. We want to win and achieve further success,” the 205 cm tall middle blocker continued.

“We are just at the beginning of the competition and we have played two matches only,” said Baranowicz. “We are going to play a very tough match, since our opponent is the best team in the world and they have won the last four editions of the Champions League. They are currently first in the Russian national league and have great players. However, we have the home-court advantage. We will be trying to do our best and take it one set at a time. After this match, we will have another three,” he continued.

“I like Ankara very much, the most difficult thing here is the traffic, but we have the best conditions to live and I am enjoying my time. My family will be joining me soon and things will get even better for me. We are halfway through the season and even though we are first in the league, we have to play the same way in the second half and in the playoffs. We have to be in good shape when the most important moments of the season will come,” he concluded.

Picture: Faik Samed Günes and Michele Baranowicz portrayed in Ankara while eating local simit and drinking ayran.

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