Semifinals in sight for home team and Al-Rayyan at FIVB Men’s Club World Championship
Belo Horizonte, Brazil, May 6, 2014 – Both defending champions Sada Cruzeiro and Wildcard Al-Rayyan acquired important victories on the second day of FIVB Men’s Club World Championship at Belo Horizonte. The home team prevailed over Iran’s Matin Varamin and is atop of Pool A, followed by the also winner Belogorie Belgorod from Russia, which had to struggle over Guaynabo Mets from Puerto Rico. As for Al-Rayyan, they defeated Esperance Tunis to become Pool B leaders.
Sada Cruzeiro managed to get a win with an uneven performance, especially in reception, but in the end it was all joy after the 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-21). This time, top scorer Wallace De Souza, who nailed 17 points, had the backup of both Yoandy Leal and Luis Díaz, with 12 points each.
“We started the game a little under our capacity”, stated Cuban Leal after the game. “However, we improved during the match. First we got better in defense, and then we could find our best game to win”, he completed.
Just as the local team, Qatar’s Al-Rayyan also took another step towards the semifinals, but it wasn’t an easy task against Esperance Tunis. The African champion almost pulled out a major surprise as they led until the 23th point of the first set, but it slipped away and Al-Rayyan grew stronger from there on, to a 3-0 victory (28-26, 25-18, 25-21).
Esperance had the best scorer of the match, as Hichem Kaabi nailed 20 kills, but Al-Rayyan emerged as the winner with 16 points from Matey Kaziyski, 15 from Michael Sánchez Bozhulev and a solid performance at the net from captain Ali Bahrami, with 5 blocks.
“During the game, we tried to slowly find ourselves” said Al-Rayyan coach Igor Arbutina, as his team can enter the semifinals if UPCN from Argentina beats Trentino on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Esperance coach Foued Kamoun was proud despite the result: “We were capable to show the Tunisian and the African volleyball to the whole world.”
The other Day 2 winner was Belogorie Belgorod from Russia, which successfully achieved a first Club World Championship victory, over a resilient squad of Guaynabo Mets. Puerto Rican champions were able to win the third set in a great display of spirit, however the game ended in Russian hands, by 3-1 (25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19).
Jackson Rivera from Guaynabo was ecstatic at the Mixed Zone: “I played the best match of my life”. The wing spiker finished as the main scorer of the game, with 17 points for the team coached by Javier Gaspar, who added: “We might not be as good as some people think back home in Puerto Rico, but we are also not as bad as some may believe here in Brazil.”
With the win, Belogorie Belgorod will arrive with a share of confidence to the main clash of Wednesday, against Sada Cruzeiro at 20:00 (local). Before, Trentino of Italy and Argentina’s UPCN face each other in a key Pool B match at 14:00, and the second game of the day will be Matin Varamin v Guaynabo Mets at 17:00.
2014 Men's Club World Championship Performances
Top Scoring Performances
20 - Robertlandy Simón Aties of Al-Rayyan v Trentino (May 5)
20 - Hichem Kaabi of Esperance Tunis v Al-Rayyan (May 6)
19 - Michael Sánchez Bozhulev of Al-Rayyan v Trentino (May 5)
17 - Jackson Rivera of Guaynabo Mets v Belogorie Belgorod (May 6)
17 - Wallace De Souza of Sada Cruzeiro v Matin Varamin (May 6)
Top Blocking Performances
5 - Ali Bairami of Al-Rayyan vs Esperance Tunis (May 6)
5 - György Grozer of Belogorie Belgorod vs Guaynabo Mets (May 6)
4 - Wallace De Souza of Sada Cruzeiro v Guaynabo Mets (May 5)
3 - Martín Ramos of UPCN v Esperance Tunis (May 5)
3 - Michael Sánchez Bozhulev of Al-Rayyan v Trentino (May 5)
Top Blocking Performances by Team
18 - Belogorie Belgorod vs Guaynabo Mets (May 6)
12 - Al-Rayyan vs Esperance Tunis (May 6)
10 - Sada Cruzeiro v Guaynabo Mets (May 5)
10 - Sada Cruzeiro v Matin Varamin (May 6)
9 - UPCN v Esperance Tunis (May 5)
Top Serving Performances
3 - Chokri Jouini of Esperance Tunis v Al-Rayyan (May 6)
2 - José Santos Junior of UPCN v Esperance Tunis (May 5)
Top Serving Performances by Team
7 - Esperance Tunis v Al-Rayyan (May 6)
5 - UPCN v Esperance Tunis (May 5)
Highest Scorers by day
20 - Robertlandy Simón Aties of Al-Rayyan v Trentino (day 1, May 5)
20 - Hichem Kaabi of Esperance Tunis v Al-Rayyan (day 2, May 6)
Highest Set Score
28-26 - Al-Rayyan v Esperance Tunis (1st set, May 6)
27-25 - UPCN v Esperance Tunis (3rd set, May 5)
Highest Scoring Matches
177 - Belogorie Belgorod def Guaynabo Mets 3-1 (25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19) day 2, May 6
144 - Al-Rayyan def Trentino 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-22) day 1, May 5
143 - Al-Rayyan def Esperance Tunis 3-0 (28-26, 25-18, 25-21) day 2, May 6