Trentino pushed to the limit by surprising Al-Rayyan
Doha, Qatar, October 13, 2012 – Three-time defending champions Trentino Diatec outdueled Al-Rayyan of Qatar in a thrilling five-setter (22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17, 15-9) in the last match of opening day of the Men’s FIVB Club World Championship on Saturday.
Osmany Juantorena and Emanuele Birarelli each recorded 15 points to spearhead the winners while Matey Kaziyski added 14.
Valentin Bratoev and Mikko Oivanen each recorded 20 points for Al-Rayyan, while Sirianis Mendez and Rodrigao Santana added 12 and 10, respectively.
Birarelli and Juantorena contributed six and four blocks to the total of 16 registered by Trentino, against 11 from Al-Rayyan. The defeated side led in service winners 7-5 but also made 39 errors to 23 by the winners.
Trentino led 8-5 behind the offense of Birarelli and Kaziyski. The Italian club stayed ahead, but only by 16-15, at the second pause as Oivannen and Bratoev were steady producers for the Al-Rayyan forces. The local-team combo continued to pound the opposition and finished with six and five points as Al-Rayyan won the first set 25-22.
In the second set, the technical time outs found Trentino in front 8-4 and 16-12. The three-time defending champions established their playing rhythm and kept a comfortable lead despite all efforts from Al-Rayyan, who battled showing a lot of desire. The blocking of Birarelli and Vieira were key ingredients for the 25-18 result.
Two consecutive spikes from Juantorena after a bomb by Stokr broke a tie at 4-4, giving Trentino a 7-4 lead and forcing a time-out by the opponent in the third set. One mistake of Al-Rayyan followed to dish out Trentino an 8-4 advantage. But then the Italian side seemed to lose focus and rhythm and Al-Rayyan tied at 14-14 behind Bratoev's overall skills as hitter and blocker. The block by Birarelli broke a tie for a 16-15 Trentino advantage. The score tied at 19-19 with a solid spike from Al-Rayyan’s Lee, but Juantorena recovered the lead. Oivannen’s attack was wide. Kaziyski was blocked for a tie at 21-21 and Trentino’s error gave Al-Rayyan the one-point lead. Bratoev then produced two big smashes and Al-Rayyan finally took the set 25-23 when Rodrigao hit one down the middle.
Trentino held an 8-4 lead at the first TTO of the fourth, and expanded it to 16-9 on the shoulders of Juantorena. Bratoev’s spike and a serve by Rodrigo cut the difference to 17-12. Sirianis Mendez caught momentum and was producing terrific spikes for the local club but the score was still wide open at 20-14. Uchikov levitated to hit a laser shot for the Italian side but then continued with an erratic serve. At 24-17 Bratoev served too long and Trentino won the set 25-17 to force a tie-breaker.
The score was tied at 2-2 after a kill down the middle by Rodrigao. Al-Rayyan took the lead 3-2 with a block by Bratoev but Juantorena tied it at 3-all. Mendez gave Al-Rayyan a 5-3 advantage with a thundering spike from the left side forcing a time-out of Trentino. Mendez attacked too long and Juantorena scored with a tip for a 5-5 score. Birarelli scored with a block to Mendez for a 6-5 lead of Trentino and Al-Rayyan called a time-out. Mendez attacked wide and the lead expanded to two points. Then Oivannen’s killing attempt was long to give Trentino the 8-5 lead. Uchikov scored with another block and Juantorena hit off the block for the 10-5 advantage. Oivanen reduced the distance to four points but Kasiyski answered back for the 11-6 difference and Juantorena followed with an ace. Uchikov finished the set with a cross court spike for the score 15-9.