(Picture taken from cev.lu)
Finally, the men’s Champions League is down to four teams heading for the Final Four in Omsk, Russia. After the quaterfinal rematches, Cuneo, Kedzierzyn-Kozle and Kazan follow the host Novosibirsk.
Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle and FIVB Hero Antonin Rouzier came out on top in the away match against Arkas Izmir with 3:1 (25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19). Even though Antonin’s team expected a tough match against the homeside, their consistent and cool-headed play was Zaksa’s key to the required win after last week’s 3-2 victory.
The French FIVB Hero was the best player of the match, scoring 27 points to lead both teams in scoring.
In the battle between Maxim Mikhaylov and Bartosz Kurek, the defending champion Zenit Kazan booked their ticket to Omsk with another win over their compatriots from Moscow. The 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-22) victory guarantees Zenit their third consecutive appearence in the Final Four, stressing their dominance in European club volleyball.
Although Dinamo showed a better performance than last week, Maxim’s team showed no mercy. Even a good performance by Polish star Bartosz couldn’t stop Zenit. Following host Novosibirsk, two teams will represent the Russian Superliga in the CL semis.
One of the arguably greatest matches this season was the rematch between Macerata and Cuneo. The Italian derby between two teams which could easily play in the final turned into a dramatic battle which was taken all the way to a deciding golden set. More than that, four FIVB Heroes were involved.
After Macerata won the first encounter last week, it was on Tsvetan Sokolov to show his best against Macerata’s stars Simone Parodi, Sasa Starovic and Christian Savani. Cuneo started strong and won the first two sets, but Macerata came back to tie the match. With the help of Tsvetan, Cuneo absolutely dominated this decider and won the match 3-2 (25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 21-25, 15-8), the teams had to play a golden set. Now Cuneo was on fire and gave their rivals no chance, winning it 15-7. Tsvetan was topscorer of the match with 22 points.
To know everything about the Final Four on March 16-17, stay tuned on FIVBheroes.com!