The first leg of the historic CEV Cup final between two teams that had never made it to a European Club competition last game offered tons of emotions.
In a game full of drama and good rallies Halkbank consolidated their recent tournament positions and grabbed a 3-1 win. Devoted to the very same tactics that had brought them glory all the way through the tournament so far, the players of Veselin Vukovic served aggressively and had no fear to risk when necessary. The playmaker Huseyin Koc showed once more maturity in his game, he distributed the attacks very well and had a key role in the satisfactory display of the guests. The solid number of serve errors usually linked to aggressiveness was again compensated with a great number of aces and overall Vukovic did not need to change much to win another game. The Turkish players were very well prepared for the attacks of Jakub Jarosz who was sterile in the most important moments. Silvano Prandi tried several alternatives to turn the outcome of the match as almost all available players showed up. The substitute opposite and recent college student Murphy Troy and the legend Alberto Cisolla appeared on the court, but none of them could help Jeroen Rauwerdink, who finished the encounter as the highest scorer for Andreoli Latina.
With a mixture of expensive foreigners and some of the best Turkish players, such as Emre Batur, Huseyin Koc and Nuri Sahin, the board of the Ankara based team, which is currently on the second position in the domestic Aroma League, could be optimistic before the return game on Sunday. Halkbank have a little more work to do before they pop the champagne and have now bigger chances than their rivals to write history.
Andreoli Latina – Halkbank Ankara 1-3 (22-25, 26-24, 21-25, 21-25)