Dramatic events marked the fifth round of Pool B in the CEV Champions League. Group leaders Lokomotiv Novosibirsk lost for the first time this season in Europe, whereas Budvanska Rivijera Budva finally made home supporters celebrate.
In one of the most expected games this week Berlin Recycling Volleys showed a great level of volleyball and managed to best Lokomotiv Novosibirsk. The Russian Cup holders started great in “Max Schmeling Halle” and soon brought the opening set to an end after an impressive run for a 25-15 finish. The serves of the Olympic gold medalist Alexander Butko in the middle of the set provided the significant point margin. And then… The Russians just stopped playing.
Berlin took a remarkable 21-8 lead in the second set and after equalizing the set score continued to exercise pressure on Voronkov‘s guys. For the first time in this year’s Champions League edition Novosibirsk looked powerless and clueless. The number of substitutes did not bring the necessary result and more than 4000 spectators in the German capital witnessed one of the sweetest victories achieved by their local favourites.
Marcus Nilsson was again the highest scorer for the guests with his 20 points, but he often seemed alone in the fight against Berlin Recycling Volleys. For the hosts Robert Kromm enjoyed another great eve and finished the Pool B derby with 28 points and a 61-percent attack efficiency.
Despite the deafeat, the “railmen” kept their top position in the standings before the last round. However, to guarantee themselves a position in the Play-off 12 round, Lokomotiv should make no mistakes at home next week when the outsiders Budvanska Rivijera will arrive for one last test.
Berlin Recycling Volleys – Lokomotiv Novosibirsk 3-1 (15-25, 25-12, 25-19, 25-19)
Berlin Recycling Volleys: Shoji 3, Spirovski 16, Touzinsky 3, Kromm 28, Fischer 6, Kmet 17, Krystof – libero, Hoehne, Carroll
Lokomotiv Novosibirsk: Butko 2, Nilsson 20, Divis 5, Biryukov 8, Volvich 7, Gutsalyuk 6, Golubev – libero, Zubkov, Makhortov 6, Sammelvuo 1, Voronkov 2, Zhilin 4
Taking their first point two weeks ago at home due to a tie-break defeat against Berlin Recycling Volleys, Budvanska Rivijera overreached the visiting Jihostroj after another five-setter. The win could be considered as a partial revenge only, following the straight set triumph of the Czechs in the first encounter between the two sides in Ceske Budejovice, because the Montenegrin team still remains at the bottom of the ranking.
Jan Svoboda bet on the same tandem that brought trouble to Lokomotiv in Novosibirk a couple of weeks ago – the young setter Filip Habr and the energetic opposite Michal Krisko. They helped their teammates come back to the game after being a set down twice in the run of the match. However, the Estonian opposite Oliver Venno was above all on Wednesday evening and finally reminded us of his best shape. His 29 points accompanied by a 61-percent attack earned him coach appraisals.
“We have finally recorded our first win in this competition, something we really had been longing for” said Sinisa Reljic. “Oliver Venno finally played his best and this is showed by the stats, since he scored 29 points all alone. We are not going to Russia just to have a long journey, we’ll play our best in Novosibirsk to get some points and possibly make it to the Challenge Round of the CEV Cup by finishing third in our group”.
Budvanska Rivijera Budva – Jihostroj Ceske Budejovice 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 13-25, 15-7)
Budvanska Rivijera Budva: Vujovic 4, Venno 29, Cacic 15, Dukic 3, Suljagic 8, Markovic 6, Rasovic – libero, Cuk 3, Petkovic 2, Maksimovic
Jihostroj Ceske Budejovice: Habr 4, Krisko 16, Rojas 15, Platenik 20, Mach 12, Sobotka 8, Juracka – libero, Zapletal
1 – Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, 12 pts, 13-5
2 – Berlin Recycling Volleys, 11 pts, 13-7
3 – Jihostroj Ceske Budejovice, 4 pts, 6-12
4 – Budvanska Rivijera Budva, 3 pt, 6-14
Sixth week schedule:
12.12.2012, Wednesday, Lokomotiv Novosibirsk – Budvanska Rivijera Budva
12.12.2012, Wednesday, Jihostroj Ceske Budejovice – Berlin Recycling Volleys