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First medal ever for Argentina’s UPCN at FIVB Men’s Club World Championship


Unforgettable moment for Argentina's UPCN as they win their first world medal

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, May 10, 2014 - In the previous act of the great final of FIVB Men’s Club World Championship, UPCN for Argentina achieved a medal for their first time ever, as they defeated home team and former champions Sada Cruzeiro in an electrifying 3-2 (25-17, 31-29, 23-25, 16-25, 15-13).

In a fierce battle, opposites Theo Lopes from UPCN and Wallace De Souza from Sada Cruzeiro finished the game tied, both capping 22 points. Bogdan Olteanu and Yoandy Leal were also leveled, with 18 points apiece. The match was so close that UPCN only scored one point more than Sada Cruzeiro. 

Both teams exchanged spikes towards a close 8-7 for the away side. Junior scored a block after the TTO and Olteanu fired an ace over Brazilian libero Sergio Nogueira at 11-8. Paulo Costa entered the court to block and Filipe also aced to put Cruzeiro one point behind (13-12), but Theo succeeded three times, the last one in a very narrow angle, and scored the 17-12. Demián González pulled out some nice defence and Olteanu placed UPCN seven points ahead (20-13), giving shape to the final score by 25-17, again with Olteanu.

Olteanu remained as the key player for UPCN, as he applied some pressure with his serving to 5-3. Sada Cruzeiro reacted led by Filipe Ferraz and the match became leveled. The home team took their first lead at 13-12 and Wallace unleashed an outstanding spike at 15-14, but he failed a little later and UPCN bounced back to 16-15. The point-by-point basis was a constant until the very end: Eder Carbonera blocked at 25-24, but Theo saved his side the same way (28-27) and, after a while, Javier Filardi defended and Olteanu attacked at 31-29.

Wallace brought Sada Cruzeiro back to life with a nice spike at 6-4 and Douglas Cordeiro blocked to stretch the lead (7-4). The plot looked much better the home team, as they improved their defence and Wallace carried the flag to 12-6. A wide ball from the Argentinean side gave Cruzeiro the edge by 16-10 and Leal dodge the block at 19-13. However, a free ball smashed by Martín Ramos and a wide spike from Leal narrowed the gap (20-16), to allow Junior another counterattack at 21-18. Filardi reduced a little more at 23-21 and Wallace failed, but Eder earned the 24th point and, in the last chance, Leal sealed the 25-23. 

A couple of mistakes from UPCN enabled the advantage for the home side at 7-5. Leal and Wallace took turns to hold the lead (12-9), and then William performed a superb one-hand set for Eder to escape to 15-11. Cuban spiker Leal became unstoppable and Sada Cruzeiro looked very strong en-route to a 19-13 on the board. UPCN accelerated the end with many errors to 22-13, Douglas placed his team at range (24-16) and another error from the Argentineans meant the 25-16. 

Filipe delighted the crowd with a single block at 4-2, but UPCN defended with all their energy to tie the score at 4. Theo blocked and put the Argentinean in control (7-6), to allow Ramos to switch sides by 8-7. UPCN showed some hard work playing the ball against the Brazilian block and advanced to 11-10, and then a good serve from Junior was turned into a point by Ramos (12-10). Cruzeiro leveled the game with an error from UPCN, but Theo placed the bronze medal one point away and Ramos made it true at 15-13.


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