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25/01/2015 20:28
Noliko’s libero Bert Derkoningen looks forward to playing former teammates in Tours
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Maaseik, Belgium, January 25, 2015. Even though their European journey is set to come to an end on Tuesday night – they are out of contention for a spot in the Playoffs 12 of the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League and also for the Challenge Round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball Cup – Belgium’s Noliko MAASEIK and France’s TOURS VB will try to bid farewell to the European arena in the best way once they cross their ways for the last round of action in Pool G.  

And Noliko MAASEIK are very determined to seize the night as they did already weeks ago when they hosted TOURS VB for the first leg of Europe’s elite competition. “The third place in our pool will be at stake on Tuesday night,” says libero Bert Derkoningen. “It’s a matter of prestige and none wants to finish last in the pool, even though we know we were drawn in a difficult group including top teams such as Sir Safety PERUGIA and Halkbank ANKARA,” he continues.

The previous match was a close one with Noliko eventually having the upper hand at the tie-break. The Belgians’ hopes to continue their European adventure were dashed last Tuesday when they did not cash a match point in the fourth set of their match with Halkbank and ended up losing at the tie-break. This is the same that happened to TOURS VB when they hosted pool leaders PERUGIA as they also had match point in set 4 but eventually lost at the tie-break.

Right at the beginning of November, when they played each other in Belgium, Noliko and TOURS VB delivered a great show, with MAASEIK coming back from two sets down and from 10:12 in the tie-break to notch a 3:2 home victory. “So this match will be their chance to go for revenge. Last time they played without David Konecny and Oleg Antonov, but as far as we are concerned, we are about to reach our top level as we showed in the match with Halkbank. We are improving step by step,” says Derkoningen.

He is wearing the shirt of Noliko for the seventh consecutive season and on Tuesday will be playing against two former teammates, Portuguese setter Nuno Pinheiro and Belgian outside spiker Kevin Klinkenberg. “Nuno was one of my teammates when we played the Final Four of the CEV Cup back in 2008 in Rome. That same year Kevin Klinkenberg made his international debut with Noliko MAASEIK. The next season we were knocked-out in the Playoffs of the CEV Volleyball Champions League losing to Iskra ODINTSOVO of Russia who had the legendary Brazilian star player Giba on their roster. It does not matter what the result will be on Tuesday; we have already planned to meet after the game and will have a long chat.”

News nr. 9586 of 21742
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