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Sada Cruzeiro recover FIVB Men’s Club World Championship crown

 
Betim, Brazil, October 31, 2015 - After a one-edition drought, Sada Cruzeiro from Brazil went back to winning a medal at the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship and it was the best possible, as the host team clawed a remarkable gold medal over Russian powerhouse Zenit Kazan, winning on home soil 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 27-25, 25-21) on a thrilling Saturday.

Sada Cruzeiro ascended to the throne for the second time in their history, recalling their title earned in 2013 precisely in Betim, as Ginasio Divino Braga seems to be the lucky charm for the Brazilian team. In 2014, the World Championship organisers finished with a bitter fourth place, losing their spot on the podium.

Before the final match, Argentina’s UPCN San Juan successfully held their bronze medal achieved in 2014 on Brazilian soil, after a nerve-wrecking comeback over Iran’s Paykan Tehran 3-2 (21-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 16-14), with Bulgarian duo of Nikolay Uchikov and Todor Aleksiev scoring 22 points apiece. “I have a team of champions,” smiled coach Fabián Armoa after the win.

In the final match, the crowd’s dream came true as Sada Cruzeiro played a superb match to also have a personal revenge over Zenit Kazan, which had beaten them in pool play. The home squad celebrated a 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 27-25, 25-21) victory with a solid 22-point game of Cuban spiker Yoandy Leal, elected later as the competition’s Most Valuable Player.

“It’s a tremendous feeling,” said coach Marcelo Méndez, visibly moved. “The team played a great match, not only tactically but also showing a winning attitude and a huge spirit to get the gold medal. They showed one more time how they wanted this and performed superbly in every aspect of the game.”

Final standings
1- Sada Cruzeiro Volei (BRA)
2- Zenit Kazan (RUS)
3- UPCN San Juan (ARG)
4- Paykan Tehran (IRI)
5- Ahly Sporting Club (EGY)
5- Capitanes de Arecibo (PUR)

Individual awards
1st Best Outside Spiker - Wilfredo León Venero (Zenit Kazan)
2nd Best Outside Spiker - Todor Aleksiev (UPCN San Juan)
1st Best Middle Blocker - Nikolay Nikolov (Paykan Tehran)
2nd Best Middle Blocker - Alexander Gutsalyuk (Zenit Kazan)
Best Libero - Sergio Nogueira (Sada Cruzeiro Volei)
Best Setter  - William Arjona (Sada Cruzeiro Volei)
Best Opposite - Maxim Mikhaylov (Zenit Kazan)
Most Valuable Player - Yoandy Leal Hidalgo (Sada Cruzeiro Volei)

Top Scorer by Day
14 - Farhad Ghaemi of Paykan Tehran v Ahly Sporting Club on October 27
22 - Wilfredo León Venero of Zenit Kazan v Sada Cruzeiro on October 28
17 - Ezequiel Cruz of Capitanes de Arecibo v Zenit Kazan on October 29
21 - Wilfredo León Venero of Zenit Kazan v UPCN San Juan on October 30
24 - Amir Ghafour of Paykan Tehran v UPCN San Juan on October 31

Top Scoring Performances
24 - Amir Ghafour of Paykan Tehran v UPCN San Juan on October 31
22 - Nikolay Uchikov of UPCN San Juan v Paykan Tehran on October 31
22 - Todor Aleksiev of UPCN San Juan v Paykan Tehran on October 31
22 - Wilfredo León Venero of Zenit Kazan v Sada Cruzeiro on October 28
22 - Yoandy Leal Hidalgo of Sada Cruzeiro v Zenit Kazan on October 31

Top Serving Performances
5 - Wilfredo León Venero of Zenit Kazan v UPCN San Juan on October 30
3 - Farhad Ghaemi of Paykan Tehran v Ahly Sporting Club on October 27
3 - Isac Santos of Sada Cruzeiro v Capitanes de Arecibo on October 27
3 - Farhad Ghaemi of Paykan Tehran v UPCN San Juan on October 29
3 - Victor Poletaev of Zenit Kazan v Sada Cruzeiro on October 31

Top Team Serving Performances
9 - Zenit Kazan v UPCN San Juan on October 30
7 - Paykan Tehran v Ahly Sporting Club on October 27
7 - Zenit Kazan v Capitanes de Arecibo on October 29
7 - Paykan Tehran v UPCN San Juan on October 29
6 - Zenit Kazan v Sada Cruzeiro on October 31

Top Blocking Performances
6 - Nikolay Nikolov of Paykan Tehran v UPCN San Juan on October 29
4 - Alexander Gutsalyuk Venero of Zenit Kazan v UPCN San Juan on October 30
4 - Isac Santos of Sada Cruzeiro v Paykan Tehran on October 30
3 - Several players

Top Team Blocking Performances
12 - Zenit Kazan v UPCN San Juan on October 30
11 - Sada Cruzeiro v Paykan Tehran on October 30
10 - UPCN San Juan v Ahly Sporting Club on October 28
10 - Zenit Kazan v Sada Cruzeiro on October 28
10 - Paykan Tehran v UPCN San Juan on October 29

Highest Scoring Sets
27-25 Sada Cruzeiro v Zenit Kazan (3rd set) on October 31
25-23 Zenit Kazan v UPCN San Juan (1st set) on October 30
25-23 UPCN San Juan v Ahly Sporting Club (1st Set) on October 28
25-23 UPCN San Juan v Paykan Tehran (4th Set) on October 31

Highest Scoring Matches
216 - UPCN San Juan d Paykan Tehran 3-2 (21-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 16-14) on October 31
189 - Sada Cruzeiro d Zenit Kazan 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 27-25, 25-21) on October 31
177 - Zenit Kazan d Sada Cruzeiro 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 19-25, 25-20) on October 28
141 - Paykan Tehran d UPCN San Juan 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-22) on October 29

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