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Men's World Championship 2002 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Czech. Republic beat Greece 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 15-10) - duration 1:59
01-Oct, start time: 15:40, end time: 17:39 - Attendance: 5,000
Czech Republic finally takes victory
Czech Republic booked a prestigious victory over Greece in Pool F of the Men's World Championship. The Czech victory (3-2) didn't hurt Greece, because the Greek team secured a second spot based on set ratio. Czech Republic will possibly proceed as one of the four best third-ranked team.
In the first set both teams fought to win the clash. Greece was in front of the Czechs, bu only gained a small lead. The Greek attackers used back row spikes to surprise the Czech block, what helped them to make the difference. Greece won the first set and was one set away for a place in the next round.
In the second set, the Czechs improved, especially in block and service. On the other side of the net, the Greeks made many mistakes. Czech Republic, coached by the famous Julio Velasco, also showed a varied combination of spikes which led them to win the set. The best scorers were the Czech Jiri Novak and the Greek Sotirios Pantaleon (five points each).
In the third set, both teams played point by point, in a game in which the coaches studied it carefully and made constant substitutions. The Greeks were better in back row attack which let them win the classification. Both teams played with their tallest players to improve their blocks and avoid quick attacks of the opponents. The best scorers were the Greeks Tontor Baev and Pantaleon and the Czech Michal Rak (five points each).
In the fourth set the Greeks relaxed after being sure to be qualified, which benefited the Czechs ending the set with a difference of 8 points. The best scorer was Novak (seven points).
The last set was for the Czechs, who finally claimed their first victory. The Greeks put all the players on the court during this set.
The best scorers of the match were Novak (18 points) and Pantaleon (16 points).
The Greek Georgios Ntrakovits said: "The block in the third set that gave us the qualification was one of the best moments of my career."
/ajm