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24/03/2016 11:07
Old rivals to compete in Lodz for last ticket to Final Four
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men

Lodz, Poland, March 23, 2016. Two great teams and only one, very last ticket to the Final Four Tournament of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men. The re-match between PGE Skra BELCHATOW and Zenit KAZAN will surely give the Polish Volleyball fans an impression of what is going to follow on that much anticipated final weekend in Krakow. The home team need to win with any score in order to progress to the Final Four, following their sensational 3-2 away victory last week in the capital of Tatarstan.

“We managed to survive some match-points in Kazan and claim the victory in the end but we already forgot it. We need to stay focussed, since the Russian champions are still a real powerhouse. However, we believe we can progress [to the Finals]. After the dramatic final of the Polish Cup, after all the problems we have been dealing with this season and after the match in Kazan last week we know that nothing is impossible,” stated the President of PGE Skra BELCHATOW, Konrad Piechocki.

Zenit KAZAN arrived in Lodz on Tuesday. Their streak of 28 wins came to an end last week, but they are confident that they can start a new one. “My team is full of experienced players, they are not afraid of the opponents and of the spectators. I believe we can qualify for the Final Four,” said Vladimir Alekno. The mentor of the Russian team knows very well the taste of victory in Atlas Arena in Lodz, since this is the venue where he steered Zenit to a triumph in the 2012 edition of the CEV Volleyball Champions League. This final is still remembered very well in Belchatow and across Poland in general.

“We lost after a very controversial call of the referees in the tie-break so it is the perfect time to take our revenge. We stay calm, we stay confident, we stay focussed on ourselves and the match coming up on Thursday. Lifting the trophy of the CEV Volleyball Champions League is still my dream, but we look only as far as to the next match,” stated Mariusz Wlazly (pictured, #2). The PGE Skra captain knows the best that Skra played Zenit three times in Lodz, and each time his team ended up losing 3-2. On Thursday such a score would mean a golden set will be played to determine the side progressing to the Final Four...

“We can qualify, and we believe in that. I do not know what will be crucial, but we are very well prepared, both mentally and physically. We have won seven out of eight tie-breaks this season. We know Zenit did not have to play this weekend but it is not a problem that we, on the other hand, had to play. On Thursday everything is possible. We believe in ourselves much more after winning in Kazan and breaking Zenit’s series of 28 wins in a row,” said the coach of PGE Skra Miguel Angel Falasca, who finished his competitive career in Russia, won the 2007 European Championship after beating Russia in a dramatic final in Moscow and was PGE Skra setter during the above mentioned 2012 Champions League final with the Tatars.

Now it is time for another ‘Clash of the Titans’. The match will be followed by 12,000 fans in Atlas Arena. All available tickets are sold out. It is going to be another night to remember in what has become known as Poland’s Volleyball ‘Mecca’.

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