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Tours, Fakel pick up latest men's European cup titles

 
Tours VB celebrate the European CEV cup after an incredible comeback upset of Diatec Trentino.
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 16, 2017 - Tours VB claimed their first European title in 12 years and Fakel Novy Urnegoy their first in ten as they both scored decisive wins in the return legs of the finals in the men's CEV and Challenge Cups over the weekend - ahead of the continent's biggest club event of the season in the Champions League Final Four, 29-30 April in Rome.

The weekend begun with a huge upset in Tours, as the local side cancelled out their heavy straight-set defeat to Diatec Trentino in the first leg earlier in the week and beat the Italians 3-1 (31-29, 22-25, 25-22, 25-23), forcing a 'golden set'.

Inspired by a 3,300-strong home crowd, Tours took a quick lead in the 'golden set' 11-7 and 12-10. Although three-time European and four-time world champions Trentino fought back to level the score at 12-12, the French side made the final push to go ahead again 14-12 and settle the matter at 15-13.



It was the second European title for Tours, who had won the Champions League in 2005.

It was also a fitting end for the Czech captain of Tours David Lonecny, who will be leaving the club after nine years of faithful service.

The 34-year-old was by far the top scorer of the game with 27 points and served five aces, including two in the 'golden set', as Tours created all sorts of problems for Trentino with their serving, which produced as many as direct 14 aces.

Konecny was named MVP of the game in a very memorable night for Tours which ended with the captain addressing the fans for the very last time.



Levi Alves Cabral of Brazil added another 17 points for Tours. Filippo Lanza and the Czech Republic's Jan Stokr also scored 17 points each for Trentino.

Meanwhile in Russia, Fakel Novy Urengoy wrapped up the weekend with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-18) win at home over Chaumont VB 52 - a repeat score of the first leg a few days earlier in France - to claim the 2017 Challenge Cup.

After a shaky first set that allowed Chaumont to keep their dreams of an upset alive, Fakel pulled together and with 13 points each from Dmitri Volkov and Egor Kliuka took the win that earned them their second trophy in the European third-tier competition after their success in 2007.

Stephen Boyer with 16 points for Chaumont was top scorer of the game.

Full results, match reports, pictures and statistics on the European Confederation website.

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