Latvia opened the program at “Baskent” sports hall on Wednesday afternoon by edging Portugal 3:1 (25-14, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18).
The guys from Riga started off quite strong setting the pace at both mandatory stops of the opening set (8:6, 16:12) to keep full control of the operations to go for a speedy 25-14.
Portugal stormed back in set 2 going up 8:3 and 16:10 to draw level in sets after wrapping it up at 25-18. The score stayed very tight in the opening phases of set 3 with Latvia that gradually opened the gap there (8:7, 16:11) to finish it off with a margin of 4 points.
The game was sealed by Latvia with the score of 3:1 after clawing back from 5:8 and dominating the scene for the remainder of set 4 (25-18). Latvia’s opposite Reinis Pekmanis paced his side with 25 points while outside hitter Jose Gomes top scored for Portugal with 15.
The second match of the day ended in a 3:1 victory (22-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-17) for Germany over Slovakia.
Even though Germany caught a good start (8:3), Slovakia turned the charts around by the second technical time-out of the opening set and eventually pocketed it with the score of 22-25.
The Slovaks stretched that good tempo also to set 2 going up 8:5 and 16:14 before Germany could find its way into the game to seal that section at 25-21. Germany asserted its supremacy all the way through in set 3 (25-19) and after trailing 6:8 did the same in the fourth set claiming a margin of 3 at the second mandatory stop and finishing it quite comfortably with a 25-17.
Outside hitter Ruben Schott paced Germany with 17 points while 13 more – including 6 blocks – were added by middle blocker Florian Hecht.
Turkey rounded out today’s program with a speedy win in straight sets to easily down the young guys from Austria (25-15, 25-16, and 25-22). After a close start, Turkey unleashed its full potential by profiting of some good serving provided by team captain Burak Güngör (16:8) thereby paving the way for a massive 25-15.
The plot did not change much in set 2 where Austria stayed tuned up to the first mandatory stop but afterwards Turkey sailed away (16:10) to go for another comfortable 25-16.
Things were a little different in set 3 where Austria went up 8:7 and was trailing only by one point at the second technical time-out before Turkey changed gear in the money time to go for the final 3:0. Burak Güngör top scored for the home side with 13 points including an ace while Lorenz Koraimann scored 9 for Austria.