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10/04/2018 21:51
Belogorie BELGOROD leave it late, but ultimately claim 2018 CEV Cup
2018 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men

Luxembourg, April 10, 2018. After a strong performance in the first leg, Belogorie BELGOROD travelled to Turkey for their return match against Ziraat Bankasi ANKARA knowing that two sets would see them crowned 2018 CEV Volleyball Cup winners. After a very slow start the Russian side forced their way back into the match and ultimately took the title in a tense fourth set which could have gone either way. Konstantin Bakun of Belogorie ended up top scorer and the MVP award for the Final went to setter Ulaş Kiyak from the home team. Belogorie had previously won the CEV Cup in 2009 - and their last European title came in 2014 when they won the CEV Volleyball Champions League and that happened in Ankara as well after they beat hosts Halkbank in the gold medal match.

Ziraat Bankasi ANKARA (TUR) vs. Belogorie BELGOROD (RUS) 2-3 (25-21, 26-24, 26-28, 21-25, 11-15)

Cheered on by 5,600 fans, the home side were at it from the first whistle and dominated the first two sets winning them 25-21, 26-24.  Suddenly being so close to the lottery of a golden set seemed to stir the Russian side, who led by their captain Sergey Tetyukhın - who was playing his last international match - responded with power and aggression forcing the third set (28-26) and taking it to a fourth set which would result in either the home team forcing a golden set, or the away side taking the title.

It was close throughout, but at each partial score it was Belogorie BELGOROD who were up by a point or two.  Once the set got into the twenties, the momentum was with the Russian side and when their star captain stepped up to serve on set (title) point, there was a feeling of inevitability in the air.  A strong serve resulted in the attack for the Turkish side ending with a kill block to Nikolay Nikolov and the Belogorie side went crazy (25-21).  The fifth set ended up being irrelevant but it too went the way of the Russian team (15-11). 

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