Three more matches to bring curtain down to #CLVolleyM second leg

Luxembourg, December 21, 2017. The second round of action in the group stage of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men ends on Thursday with another three mouth-watering matches where the silver medal winners from the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship held last week in Poland, Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA, host Belgium’s reigning national champions Knack ROESELARE. The winners of that same competition and the CL holders, Zenit KAZAN take on BERLIN Recycling Volleys in a remake of the 2017 semi-final match that the Russian ‘armada’ won in three sets. Halkbank ANKARA and PAOK THESSALONIKI will lock horns in the Turkish capital vying for their first victory in Pool B after suffering setbacks in their previous matches with German and Finnish opposition, respectively.

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Foto: CEV


Zenit KAZAN (RUS) vs. BERLIN Recycling Volleys (GER)

•    Zenit KAZAN on Sunday won the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship for the first time and now hold five trophies at the same time. Earlier in 2017, the team coached by Vladimir Alekno had won the CEV Volleyball Champions League, the Russian national league, as well as the National Cup and Supercup of Russia.
•    The match against BERLIN Recycling Volleys will bring the number of caps with Zenit KAZAN up to 200 for Alexander Gutsalyuk. Gutsalyuk is the most decorated player in the history of the CEV Champions League, with five titles to his name (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017).
•    Zenit KAZAN have played 20 games with German teams in this competition and have suffered only one loss – in the 2011/2012 season from VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN (2-3).
•    Zenit KAZAN and BERLIN Recycling Volleys played each other in the semi-finals of the 2017 Champions League. The team from Tatarstan won 3-0.
•    Zenit KAZAN have a winning streak of 16 matches in a row in the CEV Champions League. Their last defeat occurred in the season 2015/2016 when they lost to PGE Skra BELCHATOW.
•    Zenit KAZAN lead the standing of the Russian championship, with a record of 13 wins in 14 matches. The BERLIN Recycling Volleys sit in fourth place in the German Bundesliga, with five wins in seven matches they have contested this far.

Vladimir Alekno, head coach of Zenit KAZAN: “BERLIN Recycling Volleys almost retained their entire line-up from last season, including their main leaders Robert Kromm and Paul Carroll. This is a good, strong team. After winning the Club World Championship, I told the team that I would not try to come up with any words for their motivation. We have a high standard and we cannot drop below that. Everyone in the team understands this.”


Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA (ITA) vs. Knack ROESELARE (BEL)

•    It is the first home game of the 2018 CEV Champions League for Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA, after their away defeat (2-3) in Perugia: the Italian team is searching for the first win against Belgium’s reigning national champions Knack ROESELARE.
•    Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA play for the first time in front of their supporters after finishing second at the Men’s Club World Championship held last week in Poland.
•    It is the ninth clash between Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA and Knack ROESELARE in the CEV Champions League (the previous ones came in the League Round of the 2016 edition, in the Main Phase in 2009, in the Main Phase and Playoffs 12 in 2007).
•    Knack ROESELARE are searching for their second win in Pool A, after defeating Fenerbahce SK ISTANBUL (3-1) in the first game of the League Round.
•    Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA have targeted first place in the Italian SuperLeague at the end of the home round: the reigning champions are currently leading the way, one point clear of Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA and MODENA Volley.

Dragan Stankovic, team captain of Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA: “We want to start in the best way the adventure in the 2018 CEV Champions League. We must beware of Knack ROESELARE, since the Belgian team plays extremely good Volleyball, as we saw in their matchup against Fenerbahce. We are a little bit tired after the long tournament in Poland where we achieved a prestigious second place, but now it’s time to get fully focused on the Champions League.”



Halkbank ANKARA (TUR) vs. PAOK THESSALONIKI (GRE)

•    Halkbank and PAOK will be vying for their first victory after losing their respective matches in the first round.
•    Halkbank are the silver medal winners from the 2014 edition when they hosted the Final Four tournament at Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara.
•    Halkbank just won the Turkish national cup last week to add another trophy to their showcase. The players and coaching staff shared this joy with the Ankara University Development Foundation and while visiting this institution, the players did promote the upcoming match with PAOK THESSALONIKI in a meeting with the principal of the school, Mr Mehtap Acar Ünal. The players joined a discussion panel with the students and presented the attendees with free tickets to attend the match with PAOK. An exhibition match followed next, thus providing another boost of energy to the players of Halkbank ahead of the eagerly anticipated game with the Greek national champions.
•    An apple does not fall far from the tree. It is an old saying meaning that children somehow feel the influence of their parents when choosing what to do in life. This is what has taken to Volleyball two of the players currently on the roster of Halkbank, Burutay Subasi and Hakki Capkinoglu. Maybe the next one to follow the example set by dad is coming soon, especially as Hasan Yesilbudak (see video) has been preparing for the next CL fixture together with his two-year-old son Toprak.

How to follow the matches...

Watch them live: http://cev.laola1.tv/

Live score, statistics, reports and photos: all available on www.cev.lu

Social Media: Follow via the official event hashtag (#CLVolleyM) with the most regular updates coming on our competition Twitter account @CEVolleyballCL

Source: CEV

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