Vladimir Alekno boasting a happy smile at the press conference
Lodz, Poland, December 14, 2017 – Zenit Kazan made sure they beat Skra Belchatow in their last match of Pool B at the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship, because they really wanted a chance to meet archrivals Sada Cruzeiro Volei from Brazil in the semifinals, after losing to them in the finals of the previous two editions.
Vladimir Alekno, coach of Zenit Kazan: "We were looking for a game against Sada Cruzeiro for a whole year. First of all we are happy that we are going to Krakow, and then we are happy we have the chance to face the Brazilian team again."
Alexander Butko, captain of Zenit Kazan: "We are really glad we achieved the victory. It was a special test. We had seen the many faces of Skra, so we were ready for a tough match. In Lodz the organization was great, so it was a pleasure to play here."
Roberto Piazza, coach of Skra Belchatow: "We tried to put our passion on the court and we wanted to put our hearts in the game. It is difficult to play against Zenit. For me they are the best team in the world. I asked my team to play their best tonight. We did not think about the fact that we had the ticket to the semis. If we want to take a step to the future, we need to know that we are able to fight with the strongest team in the world."
Mariusz Wlazly, captain of Skra Belchatow: "The game was very tough. For us it is really important to play against teams like Zenit. It is the way to improve our performance. We made a lot of mistakes. Zenit used them and led in the match. We tested our level and we know what we can do on the court."
Karol Klos, player of Skra Belchatow: "In the first set we truly fought. There was no pressure, but then Zenit destroyed us with their serves. We had our chances, but when playing against such a team, we cannot afford making mistakes if we want to think about the victory."