Kemerovo, Siberia, poised to host historic European Cup fixture

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

Kemerovo, Russia, December 5, 2018. Kuzbass will make history on Thursday when hosting the very first European Cups match held in the Siberian city of Kemerovo. Kuzbass will be playing Montenegro’s Jedinstvo Bemax BIJELO POLJE in the 16th Finals of the CEV Volleyball Cup and start from the advantage of a comprehensive 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-21) victory they claimed last week in the Balkan country. Mikhail Shcherbakov was Kuzbass most effective player there with 14 points, including an impressive nine blocks. Ivan Andonov, a middle blocker as well, scored 12 times for Jedinstvo. 

Tuomas Sammelvuo, head coach of Kuzbass KEMEROVO: “Our morale is high and I am happy with the effort shown by my team this far. I am happy for the players who can now stay with their loved ones, with their families, as they really need it. This home game is the first in the club’s history in the European Cups, and, definitely, this is crucial. Yes, we won quite easily in Montenegro, but you need to prepare well against any opponent, as you would do for any other match. We need to evolve as a team, as we have been training a lot but playing a few matches. This situation is different from the one we had last year, since back then we did not have much time to train. It is important to maintain the right balance between quantity and quality. All the players are ready and everything is okay. Someone plays more, someone less, it is always the case, but we need everyone. It is like in the match against Dinamo: our second lines rooted, supported, and gave energy, which is very important since it helps build the team spirit. Wait and see - we have two games in a row, of course, we know how to play, but they are just ideas so far.” 

Darko Prebiracevic, head coach of Jedinstvo: “We are in Kemerovo and in even in Russia for the first time ever. The first impressions are fantastic. In fact, it is not as cold as we expected, but the feeling of the weather is uncommon — we do not have that in our country. As for the city, we feel good here and we received a very warm welcome. Despite the fact that it is cold outside, everyone, starting from the people working in the hotel, finishing with the employees of the Volleyball club Kuzbass, greeted us very warmly. As for the club and the arena, everything is as much as we expected - everything is at a very high level, the playground is excellent, as the top clubs should have. We need to get used to the time zone in these two days and practice well. It is a great honour for us to play against such a team as Kuzbass in such a city, in such conditions as here. I hope there will be a capacity crowd and I hope that we will show a good game.”


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