#GoldenEuropeanLeague: Turkey, Latvia, Spain, Belarus, and Czech Republic claim third round victories!5 min read
Turkey claimed their third straight victory, by defeating Slovakia. The 20-year-old opposite Adis Lagumdzija was MVP and best scorer of the match with 19 points, while Slovakian captain Tomáš Kriško received the award for the best player from the home team, scoring 10 points. Slovakia is in third place in Pool A with one victory and three points.
Andrej Kravárik, head coach of Slovakia: “Turkey played very well and they deserved to win today. I think this was their best performance in this competition. Against an opponent like this, we need to serve well and we did not do that. Anyway, it is good that our team can play against such strong opponents, since it was a good experience for my players. Now we have a little bit of time off and we need to be ready for the next game in Turkey.”
Adis Lagumdzija, opposite of Turkey and player of the match: “I feel very happy, because it is our third victory in a row. We are slowly starting to play better and better every day and I hope that we will go to the Final Four. We made three good steps to get there, but we still need one or two more wins to qualify. It is our goal. It was a very tough period because we have played three matches in one week with travelling and it is good that now there will be one week off to recover.”
In the same Pool, Latvia scored its first victory: they defeated Belgium in four sets. Lou Kindt, Belgium was the top scorer of the match with 18 points, while Kristaps Platacs and Zigurds Adamovičs played a great match on the winning side: they scored 17 and 15 points respectively.
Lauris Iecelnieks, assistant coach of Team Latvia: “What a great feeling! We were waiting for the victory, we were so close to it in the previous game against Slovakia. But today at our home court, with the support from our fans, we pulled out some incredible points that helped tip things in our favour and get the win.”
Brecht Van Kerckhove , head coach of Team Belgium : “Actually yesterday when we arrived, we already weren’t in a good mood, and this feeling continued in this morning practice and in the game itself. We were not happy with this – we tried to get back on track during the game, but Latvia together with their fans didn’t allow us to. Our game today was not on a good level.”
Nothing to do for Croatia: the match ended with a 0-3 defeat in favor of Spain. The first two sets were very balanced, with only three points separating Spain and Croatia in the end. However, in the third set, Spain proved to be the more decisive and took control of the match. The best scorer of the match was Spain’s Andres Jesus Villena with 16 points, while Leo Andrić scored 12 on the other side.
Hrvoje Pervan, player of Team Croatia: “Spain has been aggressive since the beginning of the match. They started to serve well, and we did not respond adequately. Later in the third set the nervousness came to a head, and this is the result. For the the next match against Estonia I expect a victory, because a few days ago we won against them here in Varaždin. We will see which team they will use since they have two sets of teams, where one has already qualified for the Final Four.”
Ivan Raic, player of Team Croatia: “Spain has taught us a valuable lesson, but regardless of this result, we will continue fighting and training hard.”
Estonia brought Day 3 to an end by surprisingly beating the Netherlands at home in Tartu by a 3-2 (25:22, 25:23, 19:25, 20:25, 16:14). It was the first voctory for Estonia in the tournament which did not help them escape the last place in Pool B but it made the Dutch team a fight for the top spot in the pool probably more difficult. Andrus Raadik was the most prolific player in the winning side with 22 points, while Maarten van Garderen was the top scorer for the Netherlands.
Gheorghe Cretu, head coach of Estonia: “Many players in this team have not tasted the win in this league yet, so for them I am really happy – this is the reward for the work they have done. The team worked as one today, experienced players supported the young guys and everyone played their role well.”
Roberto Piazza, head coach of the Netherlands. “We lost 2-3 to a team that left everything on the court. I told my players at the beginning that Estonia played their first two matches away and here they will have their fans screaming and cheering for them. Estonia played a good match, and we must be more confident.”
Belarus, with a 3-1 victory against Ukraine, have improved their record to three victories in a row with maximum nine points. Andrei Radziuk (Belarus) was the top scorer of the match with 21 points.
Volodymyr Tevkun, player of Ukraine and a Belarusian national champion earlier this year with Shakhtior SOLIGORSK: “Today we served very bad. I think this is the main reason why we lost. We were good in attack, but we made too many service mistakes. I already feel myself like home in Belarus, so I am very glad to be here again.”
Raman Aplevich, libero of Belarus: “We showed our game. It was a very important match for us, because Ukraine is one of the favourites in the group. We wanted to take as many points at home as possible. We felt our fans and that helped a lot. It is always a big pleasure to play at home.”
On the same Pool Finland, with a defeat in four sets against Czech Republic, currently is on the bottom of the Pool C standings. With this third round victory, Czech Republic is at second place in the standings the Pool. The best scorers of the match were Jan Hadrava with 27 points, including 4 winning-blocks and one ace, while and Samuli Kaislasalo scored 25 points for Finland. (Photogallery of the match)
Michal Nekola, head coach of Team Czech Republic: “The match had two faces: in the first set we did not pressure with our serve and Finland was good in the attack, hence we got under pressure. From the second set the game was flipped, and our serve and attack got better. These two things definitely decided the whole match.”
Joel Banks, head coach of Team Finland: “We play better and better every match, every game shows improvement. We do not win – that is disappointing – but we have to continue with this progression. Of course, we would like to get better results, but every match shows a small step ahead.”
2019 CEV Volleyball European Golden League – Day 3
RECAP OF THE RESULTS.
Slovakia-Turkey 0-3 (20:25, 18:25, 17:25)
Latvia-Belgium 3-1 (22:25, 25,19, 25:20, 25:21)
Estonia-The Netherlands 3-2 (25:22, 25:23, 19:25, 20:25, 16:14)
Croatia-Spain 0-3 (22:25, 22:25, 15:25)
Belarus vs. Ukraine 3-1 (25:18, 25:22, 20:25, 26:24)
Czech Republic-Finland 3-1 (17:25, 25:22, 25:15, 25:22) —GALLERY—
2019 CEV Volleyball European Golden League – Day 2
2019 CEV Volleyball European Golden League – Day 1
Photos: CEV and Randomvolley.com