Olympiacos PIRAEUS and ACH Volley BLED cause real sensation in Champions League Playoffs 12. Moscow and Friedrichshafen claimed straight victories.
Olympiacos PIRAEUS caused a major upset tonight as the Greek champions beat Zenit KAZAN of Russia 3:1 and are running at full speed on the way to the Playoffs 6. MVP of the match was Ivan Miljkovic who scored 32 points and was practically unstoppable also for the Russian block. Olympiacos PIRAEUS’s head coach Ioannis Kalmazidis said after the game: “I want to thank my players for their great game. This team was built by Mr. Kristiansson, so this victory belongs to him too. Our performance was excellent, and if we play the same way in Russia, we can qualify for the next round”. Zenit KAZAN’s head coach Vladimir Alekno added: “Olympiacos’ performance didn’t surprise us. The Greek team has a world class player in its roster, Ivan Miljkovic, and with the support of his teammates, they form a very tough team.”
Italy’s Lube Banca Marche MACERATA – at least on paper – was expected to seize the night in Ljubljana. However, the local heroes of ACH Volley BLED were able to play completely relaxed with the great help of a full Tivoli Hall. The dramatic game at the end brought the victory to ACH Volley which rewarded the domestic public with the sweetest victory in this year’s Champions League. Coach Glenn Hoag said after the match: “A though game, wonderful! There are still some reserve – block, these tricky balls over the net, I believe we can win against every team if we play as we are supposed to. Dejan Vinčić played his best game”. On the other hand Vincic added: “Our advantage is a bigger heart, a very deep wish to win, I believe in a victory also in Italy. It seems to me that the Italians do not prepare enough for every single opponent, they have reserves in serves, though we have been fighting at 150 percent”.
In front of 3.500 spectators German champion VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN scored a 3:1 victory against Austrian Hypo Tirol INNSBRUCK to make a first step towards the Playoffs 6. “My team really wanted to win. Maybe the guys were a little bit too motivated”, said FRIEDRICHSHAFEN’s head coach Stelian Moculescu. “The start was difficult. Then we played better and better.” His compliments were especially addressed to opposite Adrian Gontariu and setter Lukas Tichacek. “They performed very well tonight.”
Dinamo MOSCOW outclassed tonight Panathinaikos ATHENS in three sets to stand out as the clear favorite for a spot in the Playoffs 6 before the return match scheduled for next week in Greece. Dante stated after the match: "I am very happy that we got the first match, it is a big step forward for us. The 3:0 is the best possible score. I think it is an advantage that we played in Moscow first and not in Glyfada. Beyond that, I must say that I was glad to see my old friends. I honestly feel good".
After a dramatic match that lasted for more than 2 hours, Asseco Resovia RZESZOW defeated CSKA SOFIA in four sets. This is the first defeat at home for the Bulgarians in this year’s CEV Indesit Champions League. The game was interrupted in the third set for 25 minutes after the Bulgarian fans had lighted a flare. After the game, coach Lubomir Travica said: “We were aware that we would have had a very hard match and that’s why we are very happy now. We managed to cause the first home loss for CSKA this season. We were very focused and motivated.”
TRENTINO BetClic made the first important step on the way to the Playoffs 6, defeating the Belgians of Knack Randstad ROESELARE 3:1 at the PalaTrento. With this result the Italians can look with some confidence at the return match that is scheduled for next week in Belgium. Right before the start of the match, Cuban Osmany Juantorena Portuondo received a special trophy for having been chosen as the Best Spiker of the League Round. “The year 2010 started for me in a great way and I hope that it will continue in the same way; I receive this award thanks to my team, without the help of my team-mates and without my wish to improve myself regularly I would not have struck this prestigious award. I am not satisfied only for this reason; I can still develop further and I have some more goals to achieve this season. The award as Best Spiker is not enough; I want to win the Champions League!”
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