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14/03/2019 21:00
Skra BELCHATOW fend off György Grozer to claim quarterfinal victory
2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Luxembourg, March 14, 2019. PGE Skra BELCHATOW (POL) have overcome the power of Zenit SAINT PETERSBURG to win the first quarterfinal match 3-1. For the first time this season coach Roberto Piazza could rely on his full squad during the match and it paid off. For SAINT PETERSBURG this means their first defeat in the 2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League campaign, after having won all of their Pool C matches.

PGE Skra BELCHATOW (POL) vs. Zenit SAINT PETERSBURG (RUS) 3-1 (25-18, 13-25, 25-22, 25-18)

  • Tickets for the game were quickly sold out, which means that Energia Hall was filled with 2,700 PGE Skra supporters.
  • György Grozer was one of the best serving players on court Thursday evening. He served more than 130 km/h several times.  
  • It was the first full match of Mariusz Wlazły since December 18, 2018. The captain and legend of PGE Skra was injured for almost two months. It’s his 13th season in CEV Volleyball Champions League and all of them he played for BELCHATOW.
  • PGE Skra broke the beautiful Zenit run of six wins in a row. It was their first loss in the Champions League this season.  
  • Milad Ebadipour was awarded as the MVP of the match. He scored 18 points with a 67% success rate in attack. Top scorer of the match was Grozer for SAINT PETERSBURG, as he scored 23 times.

Roberto Piazza, head coach of PGE Skra BELCHATOW: “In my opinion we played a very good match. In some situations, we could have played even better. In these elements, already in St. Petersburg, we must be perfect. Now we have to relax, that's why on Friday we will be completely off. From Saturday, we must start thinking about how we want to play in Russia. Our opponents played great, but we managed to take the ball and defend it, so great work from our boys. Artur Szalpuk is on his way to come back. He took the court in the second set, but Milan Katić played an amazing match. I have to think about the team, not about individuals. Perhaps Artur will be a very important player in the rematch in St. Petersburg, I do not know.”

PGE Skra BELCHATOW head coach Roberto Piazza

Milan Katić, outside hitter of PGE Skra BELCHATOW: “This was one of our best matches this season. Playing at this level, we do not have to be afraid of any rivals. It was a nice evening for us and although we were better at all elements of the game, we have to keep in mind that Zenit will want to answer in Russia. So we must be ready for it. Congratulations to our team. We gave everything and deserved to win. We must be ready for the rematch, because our rivals will certainly answer in their own hall. Their Cuban star Oreol Camejo will also be ready to play and we have to prepare for it. You have to fight and that's all.”

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