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13/03/2016 18:05
Russian ‘hot’ derby coming up in CEV Cup semis
2016 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men

Moscow, Russia, March 13, 2016. Dinamo MOSCOW will be hosting on Tuesday, March 15 their countrymen of Gazprom-Ugra SURGUT for the first round of the 2016 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men semi-finals. Dinamo are trying to retain the crown they won last year in Europe’s second most prestigious club competition after disappointingly failing to make it out of the group stage in the 2016 edition of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men.

As a result of a series of coincidences, Dinamo MOSCOW and Gazprom-Ugra SURGUT are playing each other three times within just one week. The first match was played on Saturday in Surgut where Dinamo claimed a hard-fought 3-2 victory (20-25, 20-25, 28-26, 25-22, 15-8). The Muscovites were on the brink of a 3-0 loss as they lost the first and second sets and trailed 24-22 in the third, but SURGUT failed to capitalise on two match balls. Dinamo could regroup and in the end secured a 3-2 victory which helps them continue to fight for second place in the standing of the Russian Superleague with Belogorie BELGOROD, being now third and six points clear of SURGUT.

After this first matchup, Dinamo and Gazprom-Ugra SURGUT will be playing each other twice in the semis of the 2016 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men. Dinamo are determined to make it to the final stage of this competition and vie for a second consecutive crown to claim at least one trophy this season after the Muscovites had started their campaign hoping to make the Final Four of the CEV Volleyball Champions League. As for SURGUT, the matches with Dinamo are just equally as important, since the team are now two steps away from what would be a historic qualification for the finals of a European competition.

Dinamo MOSCOW head coach Oleg Antonov commented after the match with SURGUT played on Saturday: “The two opening sets were very bad for us and in general we did not deliver in any of the aspects of the game. Quite understandably SURGUT were extremely motivated to perform well at home after they had lost two consecutive away matches. Luckily we were able to come back and change the course of the game. We stepped up our efforts in the third set whilst Gazprom-Ugra SURGUT, on the other hand, started making mistakes. The fourth and fifth sets went just easy for us as our opponent kind of stopped playing. As for the CEV Cup semis, in Moscow we will start from scratch. These matches won’t be any easier than those we played with SURGUT in the Russian Superleague.”

Vladimir Kondusov, assistant coach of Gazprom-Ugra SURGUT, says: “We played a total of nine matches in February, travelling extensively and flying back and forth. Though we just lost to Dinamo MOSCOW, we can consider this match like some kind of an unfortunate and unlucky rehearsal for the CEV Cup semi-finals, hoping they will turn out a lot better for us.”

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