19 September 2021

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Turkey: Ziraat make one of 3 steps toward winning the title, Galatasaray win Game 1 for 3rd place

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The final for title and the final for the 3rd place of the 2020/21 Turkish AXA Sigorta Efeler Ligi started yesterday (the two title finalists are qualified for next Champions League, the third will go to the CEV Cup together with Spor Toto who won the Turkish Cup, and the fourth will go to Challenge Cup).

The playoff finals between Ziraat Bankkart and Fenerbahçe HDI Sigorta set off with a win of the former.
In Game 1, the regular-season winners recovered from 0-1 in sets against 2nd-seed Fenerbahçe and prevailed by a 3-1 (19:25, 25:19, 25:21, 25:19).
Dutch Wouter Ter Maat led the Ankara side with 27 points (56% in attack e 47% efficiency and 3 blocks), while his compatriot Maarten van Garderen set up 5 blocks.
On the other hand, the 2 reference points of the guests’ attack are well controlled: opposite Toy ended up on the bench on 8:4 of the 4th set, with -10% efficiency in attack, while the Cuban Hidalgo, despite scoring 17 points with 3 ace and 52% in attack, was too foul with 4 errors and 5 blocked (and therefore 19% efficiency).
With the exception of the first set, Ziraat’s only moment of difficulty came in the heart of the fourth set (break of 2:9 from 10:6 to 12:15), but the response was immediate with 4 consecutive points (16:15) and a further extension up to Eksi’s final block on Hidalgo.
The 2nd match of the final series will be played on April 15. The team who achieves 3 victories in the finals will be crowned as champions.

In the final for 3rd place, Galatasaray (even without Subasi and with the starting setter Keskin on the bench) defeated Arkas Izmir 3-0 on the road in best-of-three serie, even if all the sets ended with the minimum gap.

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| 2020/21 Turkish AXA Sigorta Efeler Ligi playoff – FinalBest-of-five

| Game 1 | April 12, 2021
• Ziraat Bankkart Ankara – Fenerbahce HDI Sigorta Istanbul 3-1 (19:25, 25:19, 25:21, 25:19)
Ziraat: Arslan Eksi 5, Van Garderen 13, Gok 8, Ter Maat 27, Atanasov 13, Bulbul 4, Bayraktar (L); Yucel 0, Tosun 0. Not entered: Akkus, Kirkit, Ayvazoglu (L), Ertugrul, Eken. Coach: Medei.
Fenerbahce: Kiyak 1, N. Hoag 10, Vigrass 6, Toy 9, Hidalgo 17, Batur 7, Yesilbudak (L); Peksen 0, Nwachukwu 5, Sikar 1, Karatas (L). Not entered: Unver, Kurt, Stanicki. Coach: Togan.

| Game 2 | April 15
Fenerbahce HDI Sigorta Istanbul – Ziraat Bankkart Ankara 3-0 (25:22, 25:21, 25:16)

| Game 3 | April 18
Ziraat Bankkart Ankara – Fenerbahce HDI Sigorta Istanbul 3-1 (25:19, 22:25, 25:22, 27:25)

| Game 4 | April 21
Fenerbahce HDI Sigorta Istanbul – Ziraat Bankkart Ankara 2-3 (31:29, 19:25, 25:27, 27:25, 11:15)

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| 3/4th PlaceBest-of-three
| Game 1 – April 12
• Arkas Spor Izmir – Galatasaray HDI Sigorta Istanbul 0-3 (23:25, 23:25, 26:28)
Arkas: Blankenau 6, Gungor 12, Cengiz 5, Mandiraci 18, Gulmezoglu 8, Matic 5, Joao Paulo Bravo (L); Cevik (L), Durmaz 0, Koc 0, Lagumdzija 3, Winkelmuller 0. Not entered: Esin. Coach: Hoag.
Galatasaray: Yenipazar 2, Berezhko 15, Ulu 4, Torres 25, Siratca 1, Savas 9, Mert (L); Cakir (L), Metin Ertugrul 0. Not entered: Keskin, Avci. Coach: Ozbey.

| Game 2 – April 15
Galatasaray HDI Sigorta Istanbul – Arkas Spor Izmir 3-0 (25:23, 25:19, 25:23)

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