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15/10/2013 23:00
TRENTINO starts quest for fifth world title with victory over Asian champions
News from the FIVB

Betim, Brazil, October 15, 2013. Italy’s Diatec TRENTINO began their campaign as defending champions of the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship claiming a well fought victory over Iran’s Kaleh Sports Club in four sets (24-26, 25-19, 25-19, and 26-24) on Tuesday at Divino Braga Gymnasium.
Tsvetan Sokolov (pictured) led four players of the winning team who finished with double-digits in the scoring charts with 21 points. Alexandre Ferreira was next with 16 tallies, followed by Filippo Lanza and Emanuele Birarelli with 13 and 11 respectively. Mojtaba Mirzajanpour and Javad Hosseinabadi were the top scorers for Kaleh with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
TRENTINO held an overwhelming advantage in the blocking category 18-6, including five by Lanza and four each by Birarelli and Matteo Burgsthaler.  

Trentino led 8-4 and 16-11 at the technical time-outs of the opening set behind some terrific spikes by Tsvetan Sokolov and Filippo Lanza. Two missed attacks by Birarelli narrowed the gap to 17-14. The spike by Alireza Nadi put Kaleh within one point at 18-17 and the Iranians tied at 20 with Mojtaba Mirzajanpour’s big hit. Javad Hosseinabadi aced with his serve for the 20-19 advantage. TRENTINO equalized at 22-all behind the blocking by Matteo Burgsthaler but Kaleh took the first set 26-24 when Hosseinabadi landed his spike and Sokolov’s attack sailed out of bounds.  

TRENTINO took an 8-6 advantage in the second set when Ferreira blocked Hosseinabadi and Lanza landed a laser shot from the back court. Two unforced Italian errors evened the score at 9-all and the sides continued tied until the 12-point mark. Then TRENTINO moved on to sit at 16-14 behind the offense of Ferreira and Sokolov. The Italians won the second set 25-19 when Birarelli sandwiched two spikes around a block against Nadi.  

It was a close contest early in the third set with Alexandre Ferreira giving TRENTINO an 8-7 advantage with his formidable spike. Kaleh tied at 9 when Burgsthaler’s attack went wide. Diatec recovered the lead behind a terrific block by Lanza against Reza Ghara. The Italian widened the distance to 16-13 with Sokolov’s hit off the opponent’s block. The set concluded at 25-19 when Ferreira capped the actions with two straight aces.  

Kaleh was in front 8-7 in the fourth set when Donald Suxho’s serve was just out of bounds. At 10-all Birarelli scored twice but the Iranians came back to take the lead 14-13 benefitting from several unforced errors by their opponents. The second time out found the Iranian club leading 16-14. Kaleh went up 18-15 with the spike by Seyed Sajjadi off the Italian block. TRENTINO closed in at 18-17 with a block by Sokolov against Mirzajanpour and tied at 19-all when the spike by Mirzajanpour was too wide. Lanza blocked Hosseinabadi for the lead and the fourth set finished 26-24 with Ferreira’s spike.  

Emanuele Birarelli, captain of Diatec TRENTINO, said: “It was a bad match for us. We are a young team and it showed as we made too many stupid mistakes. We gave away many points. I hope we can improve with the tournament.”  

Coach Roberto Serniotti added: “I am very happy with the victory because it was a very difficult match. Iran’s team has very interesting young players and it was a difficult task for us to win.”  

The second match of the day, also in Pool A, saw UPCN of Argentina recovering from one set down to defeat a battling team of Japan’s Panasonic Panthers in four sets (24-26, 25-19, 25-19, and 26-24). Theo Lopes topped the winners with 20 points while Kunihiro Shimizu had a match-high 21 points in the losing cause. “I am satisfied because this is a short tournament and the important thing is winning and not about playing well or not,” UPCN’s coach Fabian Armoa stated. “It was a tough match since it was the first time we faced an Asian team and their style of play.”  

In the last match of the evening, Brazil’s Sada Cruzeiro won in straight sets (25-20, 25-22, and 25-16) over Dominican Republic’s Deportivo La Romana in Pool B. The winners held advantages of 7-2 and 5-1 in blocks and aces, respectively, but also made 26 unforced errors. “The first two sets were very tense”, Sada Cruzeiro’s coach Marcelo Mendez said. “Then we gradually improved our attack and could establish our system of blocking and defense.”

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