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24/01/2016 13:19
Noliko MAASEIK looking forward to saying goodbye to CL in style
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Maaseik, Belgium, January 24, 2016. Even if Noliko MAASEIK cannot qualify anymore for the Playoff stage of Europe’s elite competition and are out of contention also for a spot in the Challenge Round of the 2016 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men, the players of the Belgian team are determined to bid farewell in style to this year’s CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League when hosting Italy’s standout TRENTINO Diatec on Tuesday.

Last week Daniel Castellani could not be happy about the first Champions League match played by Noliko MAASEIK under his guidance as the Belgians suffered a clear 3-0 loss at TOURS VB.

Most striking was the complete absence of kill blocks in Noliko’s statistics. “Yet, this is not our priority,” says Castellani. “We are developing our side-out system and that’s a way more important now.”

The Argentinean mentor, who coached the Polish national team to European gold in 2009, has only had a couple of weeks in order to transfer his ideas to his new players. “Most important now is to raise our level, to improve every aspect of our game,” he continues.  

On Saturday this evolution led to a first victory in 2016, in the national league fixture against VHL HAASRODE. “We already managed to fix a lot of things in our playing system, we played more aggressively and with more consistency,” Castellani says.

But the Belgian national league is one thing, and Pool C leaders TRENTINO Diatec will bring a totally different level. “I know TRENTINO very well, they have a really strong team, with big players and a good mentality,” Castellani says. “It will be very hard to beat them, but I also know each game is a new story.”  

Only two months ago Castellani already met with TRENTINO, whose roster includes Belgian middle blocker Simon Van de Voorde, who spent three years in Maaseik not so long ago.

“My last game against TRENTINO dates from November,” Castellani recalls. “With Sir Safety PERUGIA, we beat them 3-1. I hope I can achieve a similar result now with Noliko MAASEIK.”

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