04. 04. 2019

CL M: Alekno – “This victory doesn’t mean anything”; Ngapeth – “I enjoyed every rally, every moment”

Source: sport.business-gazeta.ru; Photo: cev.eu

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The episode No.1 of the matchup of the season in the 2019 CEV Men’s Volleyball Champions League, that many called a two-game semifinal encounter between Sir Colussi Sicoma Perugia and Zenit Kazan due to the strength of both sides, ended with an away win of the Russian team.


The clash of the titans in the first leg of the 2019 CEV Champions League semifinals went into the favor of Zenit. But, given the strength of the squads of both teams, Perugia still have nearly equal odds to advance to the Super Finals in Berlin on May 18.

“Victory over the ‘Dream Team’, as journalists call Perugia, is worth a lot, especially with such an atmosphere in the hall. The whole team survived, well done. But you understand that this victory, especially with this result, doesn’t mean anything? You can’t even call it a step to finals,” said Zenit head coach Vladimir Alekno and then praised Earvin Ngapeth for a crucial save in the match (at 7-8 in the tie-break) when Frenchman threw himself on the advertising panel after a monster serve from Wilfredo León. He was rewarded by Aleksey Samoylienko’s block on Fabio Ricci:


“I’m very happy for Earvin. He's a fighter by nature, even an advertising panel can’t stop him. This is a character that helps people win,” Alekno added.

“Matches like this, when the coach doesn't have to say special words in the locker room, are why we play. This is the most wonderful thing about volleyball. I tried to enjoy every rally, every moment. I love to play in Italy, the fans are crazy here and the atmosphere in the stands is great. We need to stay focused. We know that Perugia is a big team and it can come and win 3-0 in Kazan. Yes, we did an important job, but the main match will happen in a week,” Zenit’s hero Ngapeth stated. 



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