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Medal owners take the floor as FIVB Men’s Club World Championship begins

 
Belo Horizonte, Brazil, October 17, 2016 - With all three 2015 podium-placed teams scheduled to play, FIVB Men’s Club World Championship 12th edition gets underway in an unmatchable fashion, as Ginásio Poliesportivo Divino Braga in Betim will host on Tuesday the first of six days with the world’s best clashing against each other.

Pool play will unfold with three matches per day from Tuesday to Friday, in a thrilling contest to be launched at maximum pace. Last year’s runner-up at World Champs and reigning European champions Zenit Kazan from Russia will take on Egyptian debutants Tala’ea El-Geish on the competition opener at 2.30 PM (local time), followed by another chapter of South American rivalry between Brazil’s Minas Tenis Clube and current bronze owners UPCN from Argentina (5 PM local). Wrapping up Day 1 will be defending world champions Sada Cruzeiro from Brasil, at 7.30 PM (local) against Taichung Bank from Chinese Taipei. Argentina’s Personal Bolívar and Italian powerhouse Diatec Trentino start with their rest day.

Quick links:
FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship Betim 2016 - Website
FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship Betim 2016 - Schedule
FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship Betim 2016 - Teams

On Monday, the official press conference was held at Hotel Mercure in Belo Horizonte, with the teams’ coaches expressing their goals and feelings towards the beginning of the competition:

Vladimir Alekno, Zenit Kazan (RUS) coach: “It’s always difficult to give any opinion before the start of a competition, so I guess I won’t be original - We are very glad to be here and participate in this prestigious championship once again, and we expect a good event with interesting matches.”

Fabián Armoa, UPCN San Juan (ARG) coach: “We are very grateful to FIVB and the organisers for the wildcard - it was a pleasant surprise for us. I still remember when we first played here, we tried to enjoy it as it was the last time, and now we’re at a fantastic fourth time straight. As for the competition, each year is different; we’re now more experienced and know every detail of this. We always look forward to be world champions, but many teams aim for the same. Our goal would be to reach the final day, hopefully with something around our necks.”

Angelo Lorenzetti, Diatec Trentino (ITA) coach: “Our first goal at this competition is to play well, then we hope to advance from group stage into semi-finals. We know that Cruzeiro and Kazan are two very strong teams and we want to perform well if we happen to face them, but before that we also know we are in a difficult pool, with different volleyball schools than ours. We are ready to face the challenge and play against them.”

Sherif Elshemerly, Tala’ea El-Geish (EGY) coach: “This is a new challenge for us. For the first time ever, we were League champions and then African champions. It’s all new. I hope we can present a good level, but we will play against two of the best teams of the world (Zenit Kazan and Sada Cruzeiro) - stronger than many national teams. We’ll try to perform at our best and then face Asian champions (Taichung Bank), also a dangerous and organised team but closer to us. We also look forward to our younger players to gather experience for their next events.”

Marcelo Méndez, Sada Cruzeiro Volei (BRA) coach: “We have the same expectations than every year - Try to hold on to our crown here at home soil. We are conscious that it will be a difficult task, as Zenit Kazan come here with renewed forces, Trentino have also a superb level and both teams from Argentina and Minas play very well. I think we are about to witness one of the best ever editions of the Club World Championship.”


Cheng Ke-Chou, Taichung Bank (TPE) coach: “It’s been 25 years since our last time at the Club World Championship, so this is a very exciting occasion for our team. We have been preparing a long time for this and I hope we can present our best shape at this competition. We come here not only to play the tournament but also to improve our skills and create new friendships with teams and people from all over the world.”

Nery Tambeiro, Minas Tenis Clube (BRA) coach: “It means a lot to us to host the competition that every team in the world wants to play. We have the responsibility to do our best here, even knowing how tough it will be, especially because our team is now formed by young players grown from under-age categories. We have the dream of making it into semi-finals, but we are well aware of the strength of our rivals.”

Javier Weber, Personal Bolívar (ARG) coach: “Being here among the world’s best is a great boost for us. Although we’re still far from the level we want to achieve as a team, I believe we can perform well at this World Championship. We know every match will be like a gold medal match, as we are in a very demanding pool - We know UPCN very well, Minas are a solid and well-organised team and Trentino force you to play at your best the entire game, but nonetheless our goal is to reach the semi-finals.” 

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