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14/06/2018 19:32
Estonia claim second #EuroLeagueM crown after dispatching Czechs in three sets
2018 CEV Volleyball Golden European League - Men

Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, June 14, 2018. On Thursday, Estonia stormed to a comprehensive 3-0 victory (25-21, 25-22, 25-21) to rout hosts Czech Republic in the gold medal match of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Golden European League – Men in Karlovy Vary. It is Estonia’s second European League crown following their gold medal performance back in 2016 in Varna, Bulgaria. The Czechs, on the other hand, could not add another title to the one they won back in 2004 in the very first edition of the European League. Earlier in the afternoon, Turkey pulled out a 3-2 (25-16, 21-25, 25-14, 22-25, 15-11) victory over Portugal to secure the bronze medals. It is their third European League medal in history after they won silver in 2012 and bronze in 2010, respectively. Estonia and Czech Republic join hosts Portugal in the inaugural FIVB Challenger Cup scheduled for next week – whose eventual winners will get the right to contest the 2019 edition of the elite FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

Estonia vs. Czech Republic 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-21)

•    The final match in Karlovy Vary started well for the Czech Republic, however Estonia did not need too much time to catch up; the visitors were first leading at 7-5 before they moved the score to 15-12 in their favour. The Czechs reduced the gap with Michal Finger (16-16), but due to the mistakes made by the home side and some great spikes of Renee Teppan (who scored seven points in this set alone) Estonia won the first set 25-21.
•    Estonia claimed the lead in the early stages of the second set as well. The enthusiastic crowd sparked their favourites back to life and the hosts fought back. The two teams exchanged the lead back and forth up to 19-all, but soon after Estonia broke away to 23-20. Even great spikes from home heroes Michal Finger and Donovan Dzavoronok were not enough for the Czechs to come back and Oliver Venno closed the set at 25-22 for Estonia.
•    The beginning of the third set was very tight. Estonia started to build their advantage from 13-11, before moving the score to 15-12. Michal Nekola, coach of Czech Republic, called a timeout and his team reduced the difference to one point only at 15-14. For a moment, the fans could witness a close race, but shortly after Estonia regained a three-point advantage at 20-17. They maintained that gap through to the end, having the first championship ball at 24-19. The Czechs managed to cancel two match balls with great blocks, but Jan Hadrava served the ball out of bounds and the Estonian party could eventually begin.
•    The best scorer of the match was Michal Finger from Czech Republic who registered 18 points. Among the Estonians, the top scorers were Oliver Venno (14 points) and Renee Teppan (13).

CEV President Aleksandar Boričić awarding the team captain of Estonia, Kert Toobal

Michal Finger, opposite of Czech Republic: “The final match was much more difficult than yesterday’s game against Turkey. They played calmer and therefore it was challenging to play against them.”

Michal Nekola, coach of Czech Republic: “Of course we are sad that we lost, but in the end we fought for every ball. They were better and I can only congratulate them on this victory.”

Renee Teppan, opposite of Estonia and MVP: “They wanted to win this match as much as we did. They were playing at home, but we were better. Yesterday I did not have the feeling we would lose and it was the same today. During the entire Golden European League we lost only one match, and somehow we always had it under control.”

Turkey secure Golden #EuroLeagueM bronze with tiebreak win

Portugal vs. Turkey 2-3 (16-25, 25-21, 14-25, 25-22, 11-15)

•    Turkey started the match very well taking a 4-0 advantage thanks to great serves from their captain Murat Yenipazar. They extended their lead with impressive spikes from Baturalp Burak Güngör, thus moving the score to 7-1; however, shortly afterwards Portugal began their comeback with Marco Evan Ferreira playing a leading role in this. They managed to reduce the gap to only one point at 11-12. Then, the Turkish coach Nedim Özbey decided to call a timeout what immediately improved the game of his team and they again started to run away to close the first set at 25-16 in their favour.
•    Both teams started the second set fully focused, with the early stages being a close affair. The lead was changing back and forth, but thanks to a few mistakes of Turkey, Portugal took a three-point lead at 16-13. This was a wake-up call for Turkey but Portugal showed their strength, eventually closing the set 25-21. Without any doubt, the Ferreira brothers made the difference during this set scoring together 12 points (6 each).
•    From the beginning of the third set Turkey were leading, being three points ahead. They stayed focused keeping a firm grip of their advantage in the decisive part of the set. With solid service from Metin Toy, they moved the score from 17-12 up to 23-12, to close the set 25-14.

•    The fourth part was initially very similar to the second – Portugal played focused and were ahead with a few points of advantage. Turkey tied at 8-8 and a close race followed next, with impressive spikes and blocks from both sides. In the decisive part of the set, Portugal showed more patience forcing Turkey to make mistakes; Portugal gained a three-point lead at 22-19 and kept it until the end (25-22).
•    The tiebreak started with a controversial challenge that gave a point to Turkey, what made the Portuguese team even more motivated to hit back stronger, and they run away to 5-1. Then, Turkey won six points in a row (with five on their own service). Teams changed sides of the court at 8-6 for Turkey. Toy and Güngör shined in attack improving the score with help of their colleagues to 11-7. Turkey ended the set at 15-11 and claimed this way the bronze medals of the Golden European League Final Four in Karlovy Vary.
•    The best scorer of the match was Metin Toy (TUR) with 24 points. On the other side of the net, the most efficient player was Marco Evan Ferreira (POR) with 20 points. It is worth to point out that together with his brother Alexandre, he accounted for 37 points for the losing side.

Erkan Togan, assistant coach Turkey: “We are happy for winning this game. You know that any game for the third place is always dramatic - and it is even more dramatic when you lose at the end.”

Baturalp Burak Güngör, player of Turkey: “I think we woke up, a little bit late but we woke up. We caught our rhythm and we won. I do not think we played at our highest level but it was definitely better than yesterday.”

Miguel Tavares Rodrigues, player of Portugal: “It was a strange game today. We were without energy. However, after the first set we managed to play better. In general, for us it is a big experience to be here because we had never been in a Final Four before.”

Dream Team

Outside Hitters: Oliver VENNO (EST) and Donovan DŽAVORONOK (CZE)
Middle Blockers: Vahit Emre SAVAS (TUR) and Andri AGANITS (EST)
Libero: Milan MONÍK (CZE)
Setter: Kert TOOBAL (EST)
Opposite Hitter: Michal FINGER (CZE)
Most Valuable Player: Renee TEPPAN (EST)

Final standing

1.    Estonia
2.    Czech Republic
3.    Turkey
4.    Portugal

Click here for further information.

News nr. 1 of 27
13/06/2018 23:13:00
Estonia and hosts Czech Republic to contest Golden EuroLeague final

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