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12/03/2013 14:00
PIACENZA gears up for Challenge Cup final against Russian bear
2013 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men

Piacenza, Italy, March 12, 2013. Italy’s Copra Elior PIACENZA will be playing Ural UFA of Russia this coming March 20 and 24 for the last act of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men. Ural is a very strong side, mentored by Italian-born head coach Angiolino Frigoni with the addition of Brazilian superstar Leandro Vissotto for the 2012/2013 season.
On Monday, March 11, a press conference was held in Piacenza to start drawing attention on what is a major highlight for the city as well as for the local Volleyball family. “This is another final for our club, actually our eleventh final in 11 years of elite Volleyball” club president Guido Molinaroli said, “if you combine domestic competitions and European Cups. The major change is that for the first time our city will be playing host to the last act of a European competition. This year we have brought together the strongest and most competitive group since I have been chairing this club and this makes me evidently proud. We have been playing good since the start of the season but Ural will turn into a difficult challenge, as they have got players who stand between 211 and 217 cm” he added. “It is nevertheless a unique opportunity to have a real Volleyball party here in Piacenza”.  

“This is the first time we are given the opportunity to seize a trophy before our fans” team captain Hristo Zlatanov stressed. “We missed out on this chance some years ago as we played TRENTINO for the national championship. The Challenge Cup means a lot to all of us. I have always believed in our chances to make it to the final and this makes me very proud especially since I have been playing here for quite many years. It will be a pleasure to play the final match here in Piacenza and hope we’ll make it a memorable night for our fans too”.  
Zlatanov knows that Ural UFA won’t be an easy opponent to stand: “They have been playing really good in their national league. They have got extremely good second lines and their head coach has a series of options to count on. We want to keep the fate of this double fixture open until the very end. We have been working hard for the past few weeks to be in perfect shape for this much anticipated final”.  

On Monday, March 18, the players of Copra Elior will be traveling to Russia for the first match with Ural UFA scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, and up to their departure will be working hard also in the gym. On Thursday, just to keep the rhythm of the game, PIACENZA will be playing a friendly match with Casa MODENA, the club from the neighboring city that is now mentored by Angelo Lorenzetti, the head coach who spent five seasons with Copra Elior and anchored that side to their first triumph in Italy’s national league back in 2009.

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