Doha, Qatar, December 19, 2010 – PGE Skra Belchatow outclassed Al Ahly in straight sets (25-13, 25-10, 25-22) on Sunday to qualify for the semifinals of the FIVB Men's World Club Championship as the best-ranked team in Pool A.
Last year's tournament runners-up from Poland will next face Drean Bolivar of Argentina in the last four after inflicting a third straight defeat on the African champions who will end the tournament in seventh place. Bartosz Kurek finished as the game's top scorer with 11 points from the two sets he played.
Belchatow, who had already qualified for the semis, started the game with an all-Polish line-up save for the Spanish setter Miguel Falasca. The Poles were aiming to stretch their impressive streak of 14 straight wins – including matches played in the national league, CEV Champions League and here in Doha – and from the first few rallies, it was evident that motivation would not be a problem.
Without a defeat since October 30 – a 3-1 reverse against Asseco Resovia Rzeszow in the Polish league – they were soon on their way to victory No15 as the first set flew away from Al Ahly. Belchatow led 16-8 at the second technical break and quickly wrapped it up by a massive 25-13 margin.
The second set brought no respite for the Egyptians. Belchatow moved 14-5 in front and the only danger was of over-confidence yet, despite their relaxed demeanour, Bartosz Kurek and Co stayed well focused on their goal and took the set with an overwhelming margin of 15 points. The stats were speaking for themselves, with Jacek Nawrocki's men having scored 23 attacks to only 10 from the Egyptians.
Coach Nawrocki completely changed his lineup for the third set, with the exception of libero Pawel Zatorski, and this resulted into a much tighter game, with Al Ahly even holding the upper hand at the first technical break (8-7). As the score remained close with the final rush approaching, though, the Poles did not want to take any risks so Kurek and Daniel Plinski came back on court to reassert their dominance and a couple of blocks got the men in yellow jerseys back on the winning track.