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11. 05. 2018

F4 in Kazan: Lube afraid of Toniutti; Gardini – “Each match gives you chance, you only have to take it”


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The Polish and Italian men’s volleyball silver medalists in 2017/18, Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle and Cucine Lube Civitanova, will open the program of the 2018 CEV Champions League Final Four in Kazan, Russia (Basket Hall, Saturday, May 12, at 15:00 C.E.T.).


Lube will play their sixth CEV Champions League Final Four, third in a row, seeking for their second-ever gold medal after 2002 when they debuted in the final tournament. Lube finished the 4th round of the Champions League (group stage) as the second-placed in Pool A with 13 points (4-2). In the Playoffs 12, they eliminated Polish PGE Skra Bełchatów (3-2 and 3-0) and SuperLega rivals Diatec Trentino (3-1 and 3-2).

“The experience of the Club World Championship taught us Zaksa stand out, above all, for the great team play thanks to the setter Toniutti. So, he's an opponent to be respected a lot as his advantages were shown in the tie-break which we closed in December. We will have to try to show our weaknesses as little as possible because the French setter has already shown that he knows how to identify them. We arrive at this Final Four convinced that we can get a good result despite some physical problems at the end of the season. Still, I’m sure everyone will clench their teeth and give their best in these last two games of the year,” Lube sporting director Giuseppe Cormio said.

As Lube’s website reported, 20 fans of the club arrived in Kazan after traveling 6,000 km. Among them, there will also be the mayor of the city in which Lube is based, Civitanova Marche.

Zaksa will play their fourth Final Four (last time in 2013). They never made it to the gold medal match. Zaksa finished group stage as Pool E leaders with 14 points (5-1). After, they kicked out 

Plus Liga rivals Jastrzębski Węgiel in Playoff 12 (3-1 and 3-0) and German VfB Friedrichshafen (3-2 and 3-0) in Playoffs 6.

“The level of competition in Kazan will be absolutely top. I'm mostly afraid of the mental shape of the boys after they lost (Plus Liga) final to Skra. They'll be mad, but I hope they'll be able to return to the play in a better condition. Each match gives you a chance, you only have to take it,” Zaksa coach Andrea Gardini stated.

Final Four schedule (C.E.T.):

Semifinals (Saturday, May 12)

15:00: Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle (POL) vs. Cucine Lube Civitanova (ITA)

18:00: Sir Colussi Sicoma Perugia (ITA) vs. Zenit Kazan (RUS)

The match for the bronze medal (Sunday, May 13)


Final (Sunday, May 13)



To see complete results, stats, and standings, visit our CEV Volleyball Champions League 2017/2018 / Male / Seniors page.


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