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01/02/2018 00:32
Six more Challenge Cup quarterfinalists emerge on Wednesday
2018 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men

Luxembourg, January 31, 2018.  Turkey’s Maliye Piyango SK ANKARA, Bulgaria’s MONTANA Volley and Switzerland’s Biogas Volley NÄFELS  became the first three teams to progress to the quarterfinals of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men on Wednesday. They all played tie-breakers in their return matches after having secured their advancement in earlier sets. Russia’s Gazprom-Ugra SURGUT and Belgium’s PAR-KY MENEN also made the best eight after straight-set wins in the second leg of the 8th Finals. In the last game of the day, Portugal’s Sport LISBOA e Benfica took the penultimate quarterfinal spot available, with one more left to be assigned on Thursday.

Here are the full results and the match reports received:

Stroitel MINSK (BLR) vs. Maliye Piyango SK ANKARA (TUR) 2-3 (24-26, 25-20, 25-15, 19-25, 12-15)

•    It was the second time in history Maliye Pyango SK ANKARA met Stroitel MINSK in the CEV Challenge Cup. In 2015 Stroitel had also lost the first match in Ankara, but won the Golden Set at home, in Minsk. This time Maliye Piyango took revenge with a 3-2 victory in Belarus.
•    Close to a thousand spectators watched the game at the Uruchje Palace of Sports and offered their noisy support for the players of Stroitel.
•    Oliver Venno was the best scorer of the match with 24 points for Maliye Pyango.
•    Kanstantsin Panasenko was Stroitel’s top scorer with 16 points on his tally.
•    Uladzislau Davyskiba, who is just 17 years old and came in as a sub, also showed a good game.

Aliaksandr Sinhayeuski, coach of  Stroitel MINSK: “Good game! A turning point, of course, was the first set, which we should have won, but we made mistakes and gave it away. In the next two sets we played well. I should say ‘thanks’ to my team becaus we were able to gather up and adequately fix the errors. But we failed in the beginning of the fourth set. We were all so sure that the opponents were weakened and it would come down to a Golden Set, but they are experienced and were able to get together and take the game. I am sorry we could not repeat the success from three years ago. We will continue to work.”

Siarhei Akulich, captain of Stroitel MINSK: “There was no surprise for us about the way the opponents played their game. There was nothing new compared to the last game in Ankara. We were prepared, but the errors we made were our own fault. Too bad we gave away the first set! Then we pulled out the next two sets, but again the errors on our side affected the outcome of tonight’s game.”
Foinikas SYROS (GRE) vs. MONTANA Volley (BUL) 3-2 (29-31, 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12)

Report expected...

Biogas Volley NÄFELS (SUI) vs. ČEZ KARLOVARSKO (CZE) 3-2 (25-23, 27-29, 25-21, 19-25, 16-14)

Report expected...

Orion DOETINCHEM (NED) vs. Gazprom-Ugra SURGUT (RUS) 0-3 (20-25, 14-25, 17-25)

Report expected...

PAR-KY MENEN (BEL) vs. PÄRNU VK (EST) 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-20)

•    PAR-KY MENEN easily secured the qualification for the quarterfinals by taking set 1 and set 2 each by 25-21.
•    Outside spiker Gilles Vandecaveye played a stunning first set: 80% in attack and 80% in reception.
•    The qualification gave the opportunity to PAR-KY MENEN’s coach Ratko Peris to give all his players opportunities in set 3.
•    Gilles Vandecaveye topped the charts with 13 points. Kevin Saar and Edvinas Vaškelis were the best scorers for PÄRNU with seven points apiece.
•    PAR-KY MENEN’s quarterfinal opponent (either Greece’s Olympiacos PIRAEUS or Azerbaijan’s Lokomotiv BAKU) will become known on Thursday.

Jelle Sinnesael, captain of PAR-KY MENEN: "It was easier than we thought before the game. Of course, we are stronger in our own town, be we were expecting some revenge after VK PÄRNU lost by 1-3 at home. Nevertheless, we played a very solid game and we are happy we could finish the match in straight sets. We are looking forward to the next round. Hopefully, we can play against Olympiacos, which are a very strong team."

Sport LISBOA e Benfica (POR) vs. CSA Steaua BUCURESTI (ROU) 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-15, 28-26)

Benfica beat CSA Steaua BUCURESTI 3-1 to progress to the quarterfinals of the Challenge Cup.

José Jardim, Benfica head coach: “It was a spectacular game, as I expected it would be, and we beat a great team. We played two great Volleyball games. As I told the players before the game, although we delivered a great performance in Romania, we had to raise the level and play even better at home; by not doing so, we would not have been able to beat this opponent.”

Hugo Gaspar, Benfica captain: “We managed to claim a great victory. It was a great fight, a great battle, a great game. It took a lot of soul, a lot of heart, a lot of physical and emotional energy. It was difficult but we secured a great victory against a great team. We all deserve credit for this.”

Bogdan Tanase, Steaua head coach: “First of all, I keep my opinion that Benfica is a very strong team. I respect them. They play very well, they are very experienced but in my opinion, we lost the last set because of a refereeing mistake. Sorry, I respect Benfica but I think this game should have had a fifth set.”

Nicolae Gabriel Ghionea, Steaua captain:  “We lost the game. In the first set, we had a bad start, also tactically. However, we started to come back right in time, and were able to play better and better. What I did not like was this last set and the last points. I do not know what happened with the referees. In my opinion, they did not judge the last points correctly.”

Click here for more information, including schedule, results, stats and photos.

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