NEWS

Date: 3 April 2019, 23:59
Source: CEV
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KAZAN and CIVITANOVA win on foreign ground to set themselves up for a possible rematch of last year's final

Zenit KAZAN and Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA are close to delivering a repeat of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men final.

Zenit KAZAN, already champions four years running, managed to beat PERUGIA in front of almost 4,000 raucous Italian fans. A tough loss for Wilfredo Leon Venero, who moved from KAZAN to Italy. Earlier Wednesday evening, Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA proved to be in great Champions League form. Only having lost five sets up until the semi-final, they managed to claim a clean sheet against Polish hopefuls PGE Skra BELCHATOW. Ten aces in the first two sets helped them along greatly to secure a straight-set win.

It was the second match between PGE Skra and Cucine Lube this season. In November, the teams competed in the Club World Championships. During that competition Cucine Lube won 3-1.

● Among the more than 10,000 spectators were some famous guests: Tomasz Zimoch (well-known Polish radio journalist), Karolina Owczarz (MMA fighter) and Jakub and Katarzyna Szalankiewicz (both beach volleyball players, she was previously known as Katarzyna Urban).
Three CIVITANOVA players managed to score more than ten points: Osmany Juantorena had 12, both Tsvetan Sokolov and Yoandy Leal scored 13.

● MVP Bruno Rezende said after the match: "We played a very good match. In the first set we served very well, we played aggressively. That's why PGE Skra had some problems. We started the second set equally well, but PGE Skra made pressure on the serve and we had some problems. However, we continued the match with a calm approach and won. The third set is the match we expected, because PGE Skra is a great team. We knew that for PGE Skra it was already a make-or-break set, so we continued our game calmly."

● Zenit KAZAN just managed to get the win in Italy. Both teams ended the match with 111 points, indicating what a close battle this was.

● Earvin Ngapeth was awarded MVP with 22 points scored. Top scorer of the match was Wilfredo Leon with 25.

● "Our strength tonight was to forget about the big points. Leon, Atanasijevic, De Cecco and Lanza, they all played very well making big and spectacular points. We cannot get stuck on these moments," Zenit's outside hitter Matthew Anderson said afterwards.

PGE Skra BELCHATOW (POL) vs. Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA (ITA) 0-3 (14-25, 20-25, 23-25)
Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA (ITA) vs. Zenit KAZAN (RUS) 2-3 (22-25, 26-24, 25-27, 25-20, 13-15)