In the quarterfinals of the championship Belogorie BELGOROD won the series against Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK although they were losing 0-2. In the history of Russian championships is only the second such case.
After the worst season in the history of the (9th place), Belogorie BELGOROD was back among the elite teams. After taking fourth place in the championship in the “blue” group, Belogorie BELGOROD seeded as 7th and doomed themselves to a heavy playoffs. However, they do not mind it at all. In the 1/8 finals of BELGOROD knocked out of the fight Dinamo MOSCOW. In the quarterfinals, “Lions” dealt with the current winner of the Champions League, headed by the new head coach of Russia Andrei Voronkov.
This season, KAZAN and BELGOROD played three times already. In the first round match was held in KAZAN on December 8, Zenit won 3-2, defeating opponent in the fourth and fifth set with 25:15 and 15:6. March 27 in the final round of the regular season, “Lions” took revenge, also winning a tiebreaker. On dec. 29 teams they met in the final of the Cup of Russia 2012 in the decisive match which took place in Belgorod in the format of “Final Six”. “Lions” were stronger (3:1), and the second consecutive year blocked the Zenit the way to the trophy.
The history of meetings in the playoffs. Until this spring Zenit KAZAN and Belogorie BELGOROD played in the playoffs five times. At the beginning of the history KAZAN lost twice in the semi-final against BELGOROD (0-2 – in the 2003/04 season and 0-3 – in 2004/05). The following three cases Zenit were stronger. Zenit KAZAN was better in the quarter-finals of the 2006/07 (3-0) and 2008/09 (2-1). In the 2009/10 season the teams met in the final and Zenit wins the series 3-1.
Zenit continuously finished on the podium six seasons in a row (2007-2012). Zenit KAZAN repeated CSKA record (1993-1998) and Belogorie (1995-2000).
Vladimir Alekno was able to win the championship with two different clubs – with the Dinamo MOSCOW (2006) and Zenit KAZAN (2009-2012). According to the number of titles (5), in front of him is only from Gennadiy Shiipulin (7). Vladimir Alekno stood at the helm of the national team four years (2007-2008, 2011-2013). During this time the Russian natinal team played 113 meetings, 91 of whom won (80%).
Note that in the Zenit and Belogorie play a total of ten Olympic champions from London, including Kazan coach Vladimir Alekno. All but the injured Alexander Volkov, will take part in the series.
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