Italian rookie Andreoli LATINA vies for home win in CEV Cup final
2013 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men
Latina, Italy, February 26, 2013. History will be in the making on Wednesday as the local PalaBianchini will play host to the first final match of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Cup starring the home guys of Andreoli LATINA and Turkey’s Halkbank ANKARA.
A rookie in the European Cups, the club from the Lazio region has made it all the way through to the last act of the competition and will try to claim the first clash with Halkbank before the return game scheduled for this coming Sunday, March 3, in Turkey’s capital city. This is already a stellar result for the group mentored by head coach Silvano Prandi and the local management who have been working tirelessly in order to make this dream come true.
Halkbank ANKARA is nevertheless a tough opponent: the club – founded in 1983 – has claimed Turkey’s national league five times (1992-1996) and its showcase includes also three editions of the national cup (1992, 1993 and 1996). While Andreoli LATINA is a rookie on the European stage, Halkbank has participated in the European Cups for a total of fourteen times with the best result being the third place claimed in the CEV Cup back in 2007. Halkbank lost there in the semis to Russia’s Fakel NOVY URENGOI before edging the hosts of Stade Poitevin POITIERS to claim bronze. Out of 89 European matches, Halkbank has a positive record of 57 wins and 32 defeats, with almost immaculate figures when it comes to the home games (37 wins out of 44 matches played in Ankara). After a shaky start of the season – they needed a golden set to get past Delecta BYDGOSZCZ of Poland in the first round – Halkbank has routed the next opponents, namely Landstede ZWOLLE (NED), Russia’s Iskra ODINTSOVO, Knack ROESELARE of Belgium and Lokomotiv KHARKIV (UKR) without suffering any defeat along the way to the final. The side from Turkey’s capital city is currently ranked second in the national league and will chiefly rely on the contribution of its three foreign players, starting with US American star and Olympic champion Reid Priddy, Venezuelan Luis Augusto Diaz – who previously played in Italy, namely in Vibo Valentia, Padova and Modena – and Egyptian opposite Ahmed Abdelhay.
After a couple of away defeats in the national league, Andreoli LATINA got back home being fully determined to focus exclusively on the last act of their European campaign. “Though we have got some reasons for these defeats, I know that our guys will be back on track and show all of their determination, pride and quality. Though I can’t predict the way this adventure will end, I am sure we’ll be playing two extraordinary matches with Halkbank” assistant coach Dario Simoni says.