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08/12/2017 00:11
Dukla LIBEREC come back strong to seal tiebreak win
2018 CEV Volleyball Cup - Men

Liberec, Czech Republic, December 7, 2017. On Thursday night Dukla LIBEREC emerged victorious from a very close matchup with Bulgaria’s reigning national champions Neftohimic 2010 BURGAS in the 16th Finals of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Cup – Men (3-2; 17-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-14, 15-11).

Georgi Bratoev suffered an ankle injury in the early stages of the match but this did not prevent him from continuing to play. After a Czech lead (8-5), the visitors flipped the charts around (10-8) before the score remained levelled through 14-all. BURGAS edged ahead again (17-14) and even some substitutions from the Czech coach, Michal Nekola, did not help as the visitors stormed to a 25-17 win.

Dukla claimed an early 8-5 lead in the second set and even though the hosts looked in control at 15-11, BURGAS responded and levelled the score at 15-all with four straight points. It was a very close affair until the Czech block propelled a 23-20 lead for Dukla LIBEREC and eventually the home side drew level in the match (25-22).

The course of the game changed again in the third set with BURGAS edging ahead by as many as four points; the Bulgarians were 9-6 up as Dukla fought bravely but could not quite close in. After trailing 12-16, Jan Stokr scored point no. 15 for Dukla, thus prompting a Bulgarian time-out. However, the visitors were still leading the way at 20-18 and 23-19, thus finishing it off at 25-21.

Dukla responded by claiming a 4-1 lead in the fourth set and the hosts looked dominant at the first technical break (8-4). Bulgarian coach Nayden Naydenov stopped the game with his side 5-11 down but Dukla continued to set the pace of the game (13-7). Tomas Krisko served at a superb speed of 108 km/h and LIBEREC stormed to a massive 16-8 lead at the second technical break. Naydenov substituted as many as three players but Dukla looked ruthless and won the set at a canter (25-14).

After a close start (2-2, 4-4), a block by Stokr moved the score to 7-4 for the hosts and Dukla kept that margin at 12-9 with the help of Krisko. Dukla‘s players did not stop their march and won the set 15-11 and the match 3-2. The Liberec fans applauded their players and thanked them for a very thrilling game where the always Herculean Jan Stokr top scored with 26 points.

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