The first round of the European Men’s Champions League concluded with a number of team vying for a ticket to the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship in December and the ultimate continental club title.
Teams advancing forward in the tournament are Poland’s PGE Skra Belchatow and Asseco Resovia Rzeszow, Russia’s Belogorie Belgorod, Belgium’s Knack Roeselare and Turkey’s Istanbul BBSK. These teams join ZAKSA KEdzierzyn-Kozle of Poland, defending champions ZENIT Kazan and Dinamo Moscow of Russia, Azimut Modena and Cucine Lube Civitanova of Italy, Berline Recycling Volleys of Fermany and Arkas Izmir of Turkey who already had secured their berths in the playoffs.
Italy’s Sir Sicoma Colussi Perugia have directly been sent to the final four as hosts of the event that will take place in Rome’s Palalottomaticia.
Poland’s Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle was handed their first defeat of the season, being taken down by Istanbul BBSK 3-1, (25-23, 16-25, 25-22, 26-24). To lead Istanbul BBSK was Antonin Rouzier of France with 25 points, four of which were aces.
In a must win situation for both teams, Poland’s PGE Skra Belchatow took out Universitatea Craiova of Romania in a three set sweep 3-0, (25-23, 25-18, 25-14). Belchatow was led by Mariusz Wlazly with 15 points while Srecko Lisinac and Bartosz Kurek each added 13 to help propel the team to victory.
The the final count for the first round came in, Istanbul BBSK and Craiova were tied with 2-4 wins, 7 points and 9-14 set-. The tie was broken on points ratio, with the Turkish side at 0.951 (508-534) and the Romanians 0.915 (498-544).
Paris Volley recorded their first win of the season over VFB Friedrichshafen in five sets 3-2, (25-20, 9-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-9). Franco Paese led Paris with 21 points and was the top scorer of the match.
Belogorie defeated Knack Roeselare 3-1, (25-20, 25-20, 15-25, 25-17) to finish second in their pool and were led by Maksim Zhigalov with 19 points and Dmitriy Muserskiy with 18.
Additionally, Resovia secured one of the three third-place tickets with a win at home 3-1, (20-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-18) over the Czech Republic’s Dukla Liberec.
The first phase of the playoffs with be on March 15 and 22. There will be a drawing of lots on Friday at the European Volleyball Confederation headquarters to determine the pairings for the tournament.