Italy’s Andreoli LATINA celebrates second European final
2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men
Istanbul, Turkey, March 2, 2014. After making the final of the CEV Volleyball Cup last year and losing there to Halkbank ANKARA, Italy’s Andreoli LATINA will be vying for their first European trophy later this month playing Turkey’s Fenerbahce Grundig ISTANBUL in the last act of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men. The only Italian team that this year progressed to the semis of the European Cups, Andreoli LATINA needed to take only two sets from their return game with ISTANBUL BBSK to book their place in the final. They did so making it 2:2 on Sunday in Turkey’s megalopolis before losing a tie-break that did not have any impact on the final result of this double-header (2:3; 36-34, 16-25, 21-25, 25-19, and 13-15).
On Wednesday LATINA had seized the night in straight sets at home to get the right edge for the return game in Istanbul. The first set was absolutely dramatic, with LATINA opening strong (8:6) before trailing by two points at the second technical time-out. The set was stretched well beyond the 25-point mark but the foreign players included on the roster of LATINA showed an absolutely superb performance, especially in defense, to stand the pressure brought by the strong attackers of ISTANBUL BBSK.
The hosts then controlled the second and third set but LATINA was back on track in the fourth. The Italians knew they needed to win this set to claim their ticket to the final and they imposed their pace right from the go (8:7, 16:13); after cashing the final 25-19 they could already star their party for the tie-break that followed was of no significance. LATINA was paced by Serbian opposite Sasa Starovic with 26 points including three aces and two blocks; Bulgarian wing-spiker Todor Skrimov added another 17 to the count of the winning side, with Sergio Noda also finishing the match in double digits at 14. Latvia’s Gundars Celitans top scored for ISTANBUL BBSK with 23 points.
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