No surprises as Russia Final Six opens in Moscow


Lukash Divish attacks for Lokomotiv Novosibirsk against the block of Gazprom-Yugra's Kiril Ursov as the Final Six of the Russian Superleague opens in Moscow.

Lausanne, Switzerland, May 6, 2017 - Lokomotiv Novosibirsk and Belogorie Belgorod opened the Russian men's Superleague Final Six with wins Saturday night in Moscow to take early leads in the two pools of three ahead of the semifinals and finals.

Sergei Savin with 24 points was unstoppable in attacking (21/30 for 70%) as Lokomotiv recovered from a first-set shock to take down Gazprom-Yugra Surgut 3-1 (29-31, 25-17, 25-14, 25-22). Ilyas Kurkaev added another 19 points for the winners, including 5 stuffs.

Belogorie Belgorod persevered for 46 minutes in the third set to follow up in Pool B with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 40-38) sweep of Fakel Nony Urengoy. Well-distributed scoring from Maksim Zhigalov (16), Dmitriy Muserskiy (15) Sergei Tetyukhin (14) and Yan Ereschenko (12) was a deciding factor in the win of Belogorie, who pounded their opponents from the service line scoring 11 aces to two.

Defending champions Zenit Kazan, fresh off winning the European Champions League last week for a third time running and earning a ticket to the FIVB Club World Championship next December in Poland, play their first game on Sunday against Lokomotiv.

Dinamo Moscow, who finished the Regular Season second to Zenit, also enter the competition on Sunday, when they face Belogorie.

Pool play wraps up on Monday, with the semifinals on Wednesday and the bronze medal match and final on Thursday.

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