Portugal needed five sets to cruise past Turkey (3-2:
25-23, 20-25, 27-25, 22-25 e 15-13) and be ranked second at the end
of the first round of the European qualifier – Pool A.
Portugal started out the right way (8:4) but Turkey closed up via their best player Emre Batur (12:13); a yellow card to Turkey’s libero Ramazan Kilic moved Portugal up 20:18 and Alex Ferreira sealed the final 25-23.
Turkey responded well in set 2 going up 16:14 and after a very close final rush, some blocks contributed the provisional 1:1.
A very tight third set with many ups and downs saw Joao Jose score two points that moved Portugal to the front before a double block claimed the final 27-25.
Turkey dictated the tempo of the game all the way through in set 4 (8:6, 15:8) and even though Portugal closed to -2, it was Halil Yücel that called for the tie-break (25-22). Turkey went up there 7:5 and 9:6 before Portugal responded with Valdir Sequeira, Jose moved his side to the front (13:12), and a double block by Jose and Andre Lopes on Batur did finish the job (15-13).
Batur top scored in the match with 29 points while Ferreira paced the local heroes with 22.
“I do not want to comment on the match; of course I would have preferred to win 3:0 or 3:1 but it just did not happen. Anyway, in the World League we lost twice at the tie-break to the Dutch and now we got these two wins. I hope that in Turkey something changes and we can take three points from every game” said home mentor Flavio Gulinelli.
“It was a good and very close match and unfortunately we lost. In Turkey we will try to take three points from every game to finish second in the Pool as the first place seems to be booked by Belarus” said Turkey’s head coach Veljko Basic.
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