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Zenit Kazan and Sada Cruzeiro set to decide new FIVB Men’s Club world champion

 
Betim, Brazil, October 30, 2015 - FIVB Men’s Club World Championship is on the verge of knowing its new champion as host team Sada Cruzeiro and European champions Zenit Kazan claimed identical 3-0 semifinal wins over Iran’s Paykan Tehran and Argentina’s UPCN San Juan respectively. On Saturday, Betim will witness the rise of the new king among world clubs.

To be at the final for the very first time, Zenit Kazan had to defeat a battling side of UPCN San Juan, as the South American champions never gave up despite trailing the Russians for almost the entire game. Kazan finally prevailed 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-20) with a superb performance of Wilfredo León Venero, who uncorked 21 points.

“You don’t have to take into consideration that the score was 3-0 to analyse this match”, warned Nikolay Apalikov when the action finished. “It was a complicated and difficult game. We’re satisfied about this win and the ticket to the final, which it’s going to be difficult as well”, he completed, as Zenit Kazan will improve from their two previous bronze medals gathered at the competition.

On the second clash, Sada Cruzeiro erased all bad memories from last year and regained their place in the final as they did in 2013, when they were champions. This time, they eliminated Paykan Tehran with a remarkable overall performance that was the key for a 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-17) victory, with Yoandy Leal (16), Wallace De Souza (11) and Isac Santos (10) as main stars.

“Our team was more solid today”, explained Sada’s William Arjona, and then added: “We all played focused, knowing in advance how hard this game could be, and never let them break us or bring us down. This has been one of our best games of the season.”

Saturday will bring this awesome World Championship to an end, with back-to-back rematches. First, the bronze medal match will put UPCN San Juan and Paykan Tehran face to face once again at 11:40 AM (local), while Sada Cruzeiro and Zenit Kazan will collide for the crown afterwards, at 3:00 PM (local).

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

Top Scoring Performances
22 - Wilfredo León Venero of Zenit Kazan v Sada Cruzeiro on October 28
21 - Wilfredo León Venero of Zenit Kazan v UPCN San Juan on October 30
17 - Ezequiel Cruz of Capitanes de Arecibo v Zenit Kazan on October 29
16 - Yoandy Leal of Sada Cruzeiro v Paykan Tehran on October 30
15 - Amir Ghafour of Paykan Tehran v UPCN San Juan on October 29
15 - Todor Aleksiev of UPCN San Juan v Paykan Tehran on October 29

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

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

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
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
25-22 Paykan Tehran v UPCN San Juan (1st, 2nd and 3rd Set) on October 29

Highest Scoring Matches

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
139 - Zenit Kazan d UPCN San Juan 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-20) on October 30

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