Doha, Qatar, December 20, 2010 – Poland's PGE Skra Belchatow won through to the final of the 2010 FIVB Men's Club World Championship after a splendid display of power and teamwork put paid to the hopes of South American champions Drean Bolivar in a straight-sets semifinal victory (27-25, 25-18, 25-15).
Last year's runners-up faced stern resistance only in the opening set before overpowering Bolivar in the second and third. Waiting on a possible rematch of the 2009 final against Trentino BetClic – who faced Paykan in Monday's second semifinal – the Polish side outclassed their opponents in every single aspect of play, with a total of 10 blocks to the Argentinians' three, while Mariusz Wlazly topped the scoring chart with 20 points, well supported by Bartosz Kurek with 15.
The South Americans had caused the big shock of the preliminary round by knocking out Russia's Dynamo Moscow, a team almost unanimously considered serious contenders for the world crown. Javier Weber's charges were hoping for another upset against a Belchatow side looking to stretch their impressive winning streak to 16 games in all competitions.
Poland's champions started solidly in attack (11-7) – no-one more so than captain Wlazly – but the Argentinians closed the deficit to a single point (12-11) to set the tone for a tight first set. An attack from Kurek and a block by Daniel Plinski extended Belchatow's lead (14-11) but the margin was still narrow by the second mandatory stop (16-14). Once again Belchatow had an almost all-Polish line up but for Spanish setter Miguel Falasca, whose Argentinian roots added some more flavour to the contest.
Lucas Ocampo profited from some errors in the Poles' reception to reduce the deficit at 20-19 and Belchatow coach Jacek Nawrocki duly called a time-out to reorganise his players. He did not get the immediate response he was looking for as Michal Winiarski was blocked for 20-all, but then, more happily, saw captain Wlazly move Belchatow 23-21 in front. Wlazly then missed a set ball by serving into the net (24-23) and a double block by Javier Filardi and Gabriel Arroyo, again on Wlazly, thwarted the Europeans' second set point. The battle continued for a few more rallies until Bolivar's receivers could not respond to a Winiarski spike from the left wing and Belchatow went a set ahead.
After a tight opening, Belchatow got gradually the upper hand in the second set and took a four-point lead at the second technical time-out. The South Americans, winners against Dynamo 24 hours earlier, lost some momentum and appeared to be suffering fatigue because of the tight schedule of this tournament. Coach Weber used his last opportunity to interrupt the game with Belchatow leading 23-17 but Kurek was quick in finishing off the set with a crosscourt spike and an ace.
The third set started in the same fashion with Belchatow quickly sailing into a 6-2 lead. They were applying a lot of pressure from the serving line, especially through captain Wlazly and his terrific jump serves, and – with Bolivar unable to reproduce the incredible consistency showed against Dynamo – the destiny of the match was already written by the second mandatory stop as the Polish team led by seven points (16-9). from the serving zone, Wlazly bombed the Bolivar reception with two aces in a row (18-10) and it took only a few minutes more for the match to come to a happy end for Nawrocki's men with Falasca finding the right tempo for a splendid fast attack off Marcin Mozdzonek.