PERUGIA and SAINT PETERSBURG vie for seventh straight 2019 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men win

Thursday 14th of March 2019

Luxembourg, March 14, 2019. The first round of the men’s quarterfinals will end on Thursday night with two matches where Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA of Italy and Russia’s Zenit SAINT PETERSBURG will be trying to keep their immaculate record in the competition this year when visiting CHAUMONT VB 52 HM and PGE Skra BELCHATOW, respectively. Zenit are rookies in the European Cups but they boast an impressive record of six wins in as many matches this far and they hope to add another victory to their tally despite missing their Cuban star Oreol Camejo for the match against Skra. Make sure you follow the action on EuroVolleyTV, the new digital home of European Volleyball! 

CHAUMONT VB 52 HM (FRA) vs. Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA (ITA) 

•    Last Sunday, CHAUMONT lost the final of the French national cup to TOURS VB, who were in the same pool as PERUGIA in the 4th Round. 
•    PERUGIA, on the other hand, just claimed their last match in the Italian national league on Saturday with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Kioene PADOVA. 
•    This is the 13th match for CHAUMONT in this year’s Champions League as they started their journey from the 1st Round back in October. 
•    Wassim Ben Tara, opposite hitter of CHAUMONT VB 52 HM, will not play this match because of injury. 
•    PERUGIA have an impeccable record in this year’s Champions League with six wins in as many matches.


Baptiste Geiler, player of CHAUMONT VB 52 HM: “I look forward to playing this game. It is not just excitement, but I look forward to taking the court and competing with this team. Of course, we hope to win this match. Everybody was sad because of our defeat on Sunday, where we were not up to our level. Therefore, we want to react, individually and as a team to prove that we can be better, and play better. We want to fight and to do better than we did in Tours. The coach said we took a lesson against TOURS VB and we want to avoid that we take another one against PERUGIA. I think it will be a tough game, a very tough one, and we will have to be ready in each area or we will lose badly.” 

Lorenzo Bernardi, head coach of Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA: “We know them very well, and they have a high level, so it will be a tough game. We know some players who played in the Italian championship before, like Geiler, but some other players we do not know so well. Even if there is another match in one week in Italy, the result of this fixture will be important. We have to cope with the same style and same tactics as with TOURS VB, the team we played in the group stage; they have a French style of play, where they try to avoid making any mistakes. We will have to pass well from the beginning to succeed and to win this match. At the moment, we do not think the difference in the number of matches played will be an advantage for us, because every team has to play their best to try to win, and that’s what we are focusing on.” 


•    It is the 13th season for Skra in the CEV Champions League and still quite a lucky one for the reigning Polish champions. PGE Skra advanced to the quarterfinals as the last team to make the cut at the end of the pool phase. 
•    There are some special guests invited for the game. One of them will be Krzysztof Hołowczyc, a former rally driver who won the European Championship in 1997 and was third in the Dakar Rally 2015.
•    PGE Skra have already qualified for the playoffs of the Polish national league with one leg remaining before completion of the regular season. 
•    Thursday’s game will be the first this season in which PGE Skra will play with the full squad - some players are back from injury breaks, including Mariusz Wlazły and Artur Szalpuk who are very important players for the Polish team. 
•    It will be the first game of PGE Skra against Zenit SAINT PETERSBURG but not the first game against Russian teams. The champions of Poland previously played against Zenit KAZAN, Dinamo MOSCOW, Lokomotiv-Izumrud EKATERINBURG, Iskra ODINTSOVO, Lokomotiv-Belogorie BELGOROD, Guberniya NIZHNY NOVGOROD and Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK. 

Karol Kłos, player of PGE Skra BELCHATOW: “This is a big pleasure for us and I hope that we will show our best game. We have to play very well and if we do so, we can fight against Zenit. For me personally it will be a very nice adventure. We can check our abilities with the best teams. This is the most important test for us, but we will play with a smile on our lips.” 


György Grozer, player from Zenit SAINT PETERSBURG: “It will certainly be a very difficult match. PGE Skra is always a good team, no matter of the situation in which it is now in the Polish league. Our rivals are playing well in their own hall, so it will be a difficult game. We are not afraid of PGE Skra, but we have respect for our rivals. We need to focus on our game. We also make mistakes. I will say it again: I think it will be a very difficult game. Camejo will not play in this game and it is a big problem for our team because he is one of the key players. We miss him but we also have Lukas Divis, another great player who can replace Oreol in his absence. On Thursday, we will give our best. It is nice to come back to Poland. Already at the airport, I felt this unique atmosphere. I really like this country.” 

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