Croatia en route to final four
2013 CEV Volleyball European League - Men
Bursa, Turkey, June 30, 2013. Croatia could cement their leadership in prelim Pool C of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European League – Men as the guys around team captain Tsimafei Zhukouski finished the third round of play by edging Israel 3:1 (19-21, 21-11, 21-12, and 21-15) on Sunday. Croatia is ranked first with 22 points and looks en good route to make it to the final four scheduled for July 13-14 in Marmaris, Turkey.
In the other match of the day the hosts of Turkey suffered their third consecutive defeat of the weekend as they lost to Belarus 1:3 (22-20, 18-21, 15-21, and 17-21). With this result Belarus did cement their second place in the standing of the group with 14 points followed by Turkey and Israel with 10 and 8 respectively. Turkey caught a good start in the first set (3:1) but Belarus leveled at 5. The score remained very tight (10 all) before the hosts went to the technical time-out with a margin of two. A very close battle followed in the remainder of the set before Turkey brought it home at 22-20.
Turkey did show good momentum also in the early phases of the second set (7:4, 10:6) and had a margin of six by the technical time-out. However, Belarus fought their way back and after moving to the front for the first time at 18:17 could cash the provisional 1:1 at 21-18. After a close start, Belarus gradually got control of the operations in the third set (12:9) and without making any mistakes could go for the 2:1 (21-15).
In the fourth set Turkey went up 4:3 first and then 8:7 but Belarus leveled at 9 all; still the hosts could set the pace of the game at the technical time-out (12:10) before Belarus tied at 15. After going up 19:17, the guests did not lose composure and cruised to the 21-17 that sealed their 3:1 away win waiting for the last preliminary round coming up next week in Mogilev.
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