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18/01/2018 09:04
Two exciting fixtures to complete third leg of #CLVolleyM pool stage
2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Luxembourg, January 18, 2017. The third round of action in the pool stage of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men finishes on Thursday with two fixtures, including the ‘Match of the Week’ featuring Pool B leaders VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN and PAOK THESSALONIKI of Greece. Italy’s three-time CL winners TRENTINO Diatec will host Turkey’s Arkas IZMIR in a match where father and son will be standing on opposite sides of the net – Glenn coaching the Turkish side and Nicholas playing for the Italian powerhouse.

PAOK THESSALONIKI (GRE) vs. VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN (GER)


•    The first home match of the season will be a crucial one for Greece’s three-time national champions PAOK THESSALONIKI. So far, the black-and-whites have suffered two away losses to Ford Store Levoranta SASTAMALA and Halkbank ANKARA and their remaining hopes to advance to the next round depend greatly on the result of the match against the German side, which is yet to lose and stands on top of Pool B with two victories in as many games.
•    The Thessaloniki-based club will aim for a fresh start at PAOK Sports Arena, which will witness a CEV Volleyball Champions League match for the first time in two years’ time and the PAOK fans are due to give some extra energy to the local side, as they usually do in such important fixtures. This shall be a necessary ingredient for the Greek team, in order to defy VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN’s great form and undisputed quality.
•    Greece’s national title-holders will also count on newcomer Bulgarian opposite Nikolay Uchikov, who is about to make his debut for PAOK and his input might be a key factor for the result of the match. Uchikov has come aboard as a substitute to legendary Venezuelan Ernardo Gomez, who was not able to help much in the beginning of the CL as he suffered too many injuries and thus he was replaced just before the dawn of 2018.
•    Another interesting fact will be the presence of Greek international outside hitter Athanasios Protopsaltis, as a member of the in-form German squad.
•    The matchup with VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN will be broadcast live by COSMOTE TV and aired on several sports radio stations of Thessaloniki.



PAOK head coach Daniele Ricci, who has the honour to have won Europe’s elite club competition three consecutive times with Messaggero RAVENNA in the mid-90s: “In the last couple of weeks we faced some injury problems, but I hope that all our players will be in good condition for the match. If they all are available and if we manage to play near our best, we will have a chance to win. VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN is a strong team, which plays nice Volleyball and they know how to do this every time, in every occasion. We must be prepared for a long match and have patience in every ball. If we stay cool-headed and manage to play well in long rally actions, we can get a good result.”

TRENTINO Diatec (ITA) vs. Arkas IZMIR (TUR)


•    The match marks the return of the CEV Champions League to PalaTrento, 672 days after the last time (March 17, 2016), when TRENTINO beat Belogorie BELGOROD 3-0 in the Playoffs 6. The most recent home match in the European Cups dates back to April 12, 2017, in the first leg of the CEV Cup final, which ended in an emphatic 3-0 victory for TRENTINO over TOURS VB.
•    It is going to be a special match for the Hoag family: for the first time Glenn (Arkas IZMIR coach) will face his son Nicholas (TRENTINO Diatec outside hitter) as a rival. Previously they had been together in the Canadian national team, but never played on different sides of the net. However, it is yet not sure, if Nicholas will be able to take to the court, due to a shoulder injury he suffered before the national league matchup with Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA.
•    TRENTINO Diatec and Arkas IZMIR already played against each other three times in the CEV Champions League; the Italian team always won by 3-0: in Lodz on March 18, 2012 in the bronze medal match, in Izmir on November 6, 2013 and at PalaTrento on December 7, 2013.
•    This will be the 48th European match at PalaTrento for TRENTINO Diatec, the 33rd overall in the Champions League, with a record of as many as 29 home wins. The only three defeats date back to January 20, 2010 in the tiebreak versus Olympiacos PIRAEUS, to December 14, 2011 in the tiebreak versus Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE and to February 12, 2014 when TRENTINO lost 0-3 to Belogorie BELGOROD.  
•    TRENTINO Diatec coach Angelo Lorenzetti will find on the other side of the net a player he worked with in Piacenza between 2007 and 2010, Joao Paulo Pereira Bravo, winning a national championship together right at PalaTrento in 2009 when playing versus TRENTINO.



Angelo Lorenzetti, TRENTINO Diatec coach: “It is a very important match in regard to the race to the Playoffs 12. Arkas IZMIR play highly competitive Volleyball, especially when it comes to their break-point phase. We will therefore have to prove our patience and our mental strength, especially if we are not able to display the necessary consistency with our side-out game.” 

Glenn Hoag, coach of Arkas IZMIR: “It is a difficult moment of our season, because also in the Turkish national league we are not finding the right rhythm to stay with the first teams in the standings. We must regain trust and I hope this match against TRENTINO Diatec can offer us the right incentives to play a great game. We will not have any pressure.”

How to follow the matches...


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

Click here for a comprehensive TV schedule.

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

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