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27/02/2013 23:00
Halkbank ANKARA wins first round of CEV Cup final
2013 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men

Latina, Italy, February 27, 2013. Turkey’s Halkbank ANKARA claimed on Wednesday the first final match of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Cup by edging Italy’s rookie Andreoli LATINA 3:1 (25-22, 24-26, 25-21, and 25-21) at Palabianchini. With this result Halkbank prolonged its series to ten consecutive victories in this year’s European Cups and can confidently look at the return game that is scheduled for this coming Sunday, March 3, in Turkey’s capital city.
The first set was pretty balanced with Halkbank ANKARA going up 9:6 on good serving and with the score standing at 14:8 before the second technical time-out. Poland’s Jakub Jarosz could help LATINA storm back before Venezuelan Luis Augusto Diaz did re-open once more the gap for the guests from Turkey (19:16). LATINA fought back anchored by Jarosz and Jeroen Rauwerdink but US American Reid Priddy could eventually finish it off for Halkbank (25-22).   

Andreoli LATINA could regroup in the second set opening strong there (6:3, 11:8) but the balance was restored right down the final stretch (22 all), before the hosts could claim the last couple of points calling for the provisional 1:1 (26-24).

LATINA head coach Silvano Prandi decided to include veteran Alberto Cisolla also in his starting six for the third set and that eventually turned into a good move with Andreoli opening with a 5:2 break. However, Halkbank responded well powered by Egyptian spiker Ahmed Abdelhay (pictured) and after drawing level at 6, the guests broke away in the score (13:10) before leading by five points at the second technical time-out. Prandi decided to try a couple of substitutions with Stefano Patriarca and Murphy Troy joining the game, but it could not prevent Halkbank from pocketing the final 25-21.

The start of the fourth set was very close but Halkbank could cruise to the front quite early (9:6) and did not lose control of the operations anymore (17:12, 21:17) to close it at 25-21 and claim an extremely important away win.

“This wasn’t surely our best game while our opponents could perform quite well” Prandi said after the game. “I hope that my players will get rid of the tension and nervousness they felt tonight as in some four days we will have to display a totally different performance in Ankara. Their serve did cause us problems and we could not find our rhythm”. “Everything is still open as we all know that the game that counts the most is coming up on Sunday in Turkey. However, we would like to thank our supporters who have been cheering on us all the way through, from the start up to the end of the game” Daniele Sottile added.

“It was a real fight from the first up to the last rally. We have performed well from the serving line and could also control the game every time we moved to the front. Our block and defense system did also work out quite well. LATINA is a strong team with a charismatic and great coach, so we know the return match will be difficult” Halkbank spiker Luis Augusto Diaz concluded.  

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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