Zaksa downs TOURS VB in straight sets to catch flying start
Operation Tours completed according to plan
Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland, October 23, 2012. Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE started out its campaign in Pool C by cruising to a speedy and classy win to edge France’s TOURS VB in straight sets (26-24, 25-19, and 25-18) in the first round of action for the group that comprises also TRENTINO Diatec and Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD.
The hosts started with a 4:1 break that forced TOURS VB coach Mauricio Paes into an early time-out. Supported by more than 1’000 fans, the home side went up 8:5 by the first technical break after an attack scored by opposite Antonin Rouzier but TOURS VB did not surrender that quickly and fought back to 10:9 and even drew level at 13 with their Czech star David Konecny. A neck-to-neck race unfolded in the remainder of the set before Zaksa went ahead 22:18 but TOURS VB got back on track with nice actions in defense and the contribution of Marcus Popp (22:21). Konecny leveled the score at 24 all but Rouzier finalized the quest of the home side pocketing the opening set at 26-24.
TOURS VB stepped up in the early phased of the second set (7:5, 11:9, 13:11) but Zaksa flipped the charts around via Brazilian Luis Felipe Marques Fonteles (16:14). Zaksa reduced the mistakes to a minimum, played well also in defense and Rouzier paved the way for the provisional 21:16. The set was eventually sealed by a block of setter Pawel Zagumny (25-19) for a 2:0 lead in favor of the side mentored by Daniel Castellani.
The main attackers of TOURS VB, Marcus Popp and David Konecny, were regularly stopped in set 3 with Zaksa going up 9:5 and gradually imposing its supremacy. The hosts went up 16:10 and 22:14 before closing it out with Rouzier at 25-18 for the final 3:0.
“We fought up to the second half of the second set but after that our opponents sped up and showed a great defense that totally demoralized my players” said Mauricio Paes, the head coach of TOURS VB, after the match.
“I want to thank my players for they displayed a very good performance. It was a difficult match but we showed some good actions and most of all my guys looked very determined” stressed a visibly happy Castellani.