Pool E for the CEV Champions League 2020/21 started with a five set battle, in which italian side Trentino managed to gain a important victory in their first game against their Russian Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, who have also had their own challenges in recent times. They showed its resilience right up until the last set where Nimir Abdel-Aziz (setter, on this match, due the absence of both Giannelli and Sperotto) took the match into his own hands from the service line. 3-2 is the final result: 21:25, 23:25, 25:23, 25:23, 15:2.
For the winners, Kooy scored 20 points, surpassing Lokomotiv’s Ivovic (14) and Savin (15). Nimir Abel-Aziz was deservedly named MVP of the match: despite he played as setter, he scored 12 points (3 blocks and 6 aces). The best player among Novosibirsk team was the middle-blocker Lyzik, who personally scored 15 points.
Nimir Abdel-Aziz (Trentino Itas): “I’m happy because we got to win this match, a very important and difficult one, considering that we were 0-2 but in the end we managed to recover and eventually win. 2 points are a lot, given that our opponent was Novosibirsk : the Russian champion.”
While Petar Shopov of Lokomotiv Novosibirsk: “At the end of the third set, Trentino were a little lucky. They served well, but we were not able to gain a necessary point in time. I suppose that was the turning point. There was not enough freshness in the tie break. Over the past 10 days, we have played several games, were on the weary road. We did not really train in this hall. Moreover, we lost the concentration in a game. We need to give credit to the opponent – Nimir served perfectly in the fifth set.”
Meanwhile, Germans of Friedrichshafen took the lead in Pool E, by beating ČEZ Karlovarsko from Czech Republic in four sets, partially 14:25, 22:25, 25:23, 16:25. Linus Weber came back to Italy, after he played in Milano last year, with 21 points.
Michael Warm, Coach VfB Friedrichshafen: “These were three very important points for us. We started easy into the game, perhaps it was too easy for us because we couldn’t succeed in the third set. But I think this was a well deserved victory. We are looking forward to face Novosibirsk tomorrow.”
📌| CEV Champions League 2020/21 | POOL E
🗓| DECEMBER 1
• Trentino Itas (ITA) – Lokomotiv Novosibirsk (RUS) 3-2 (21:25, 23:25, 25:23, 25:23, 15:2)
• CEZ Karlovarsko (CZE) – VfB Friedrichshafen (GER) 1-3 (14:25, 22:25, 25:23, 16:25)
🗓| December 2
• VfB Friedrichshafen (GER) — Lokomotiv Novosibirsk (RUS) 3-0 (25:20, 25:23, 25:22)
• CEZ Karlovarsko (CZE) — Trentino Itas (ITA) 1-3 (25:19, 18:25, 18:25, 20:25)
🗓| December 3
• VfB Friedrichshafen (GER) — Trentino Itas (ITA) 0-3 (19:25, 18:25, 18:25)
• Lokomotiv Novosibirsk (RUS) – CEZ Karlovarsko (CZE) 3-1 (25:19, 25:27, 25:18, 25:22)
Source and photos: CEV