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Champions League Men - 22 Mar 2013

Orenburg, third MECL final in a row


After big advantage secured at France, it was clear that reigning Men`s ECL champion Fakel Gazproma Orenburg will not miss a chance to reach the third final in a row and fourth consecutive European final counting 2009/2010 ETTU Cup. The best Russian club

After big advantage secured at France, it was clear that reigning Men`s ECL champion Fakel Gazproma Orenburg will not miss a chance to reach the third final in a row and fourth consecutive European final counting 2009/2010 ETTU Cup. The best Russian club beat on its soil AS Pontoise 3:2 (1st semi final leg 3:0) and tonight will find out the name of new challenger, Borussia Dusseldorf or Chartres ASTT.

Orenburg won two European titles in previous three seasons, 2010 ETTU Cup and 2012 Men`s European Champions League.

Three out of six players involved in today`s clash were a bit tired after Euro-Asia All Stars Series at China. Fakel Gazproma`s Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Vladimir SAMSONOV and Pontoise`s Marcos FREITAS played last weekend together on European side, but now they were opponents.

In opening clash former Charleroi`s players met one another. Chinese WANG Jian Jun beat Dima OVTCHAROV in five games, but Russians stayed calm, knowing that they need just four sets in total to reach the final. Fourth set was amazing as guest saved three set balls, but not fourth one.

Except third set, Alexey SMIRNOV dominated against player-coach Peter FRANZ to secure the final for Russians.

In third game Marcos FREITAS, who played very well for Europe at Qingdao but lost twice 3:2, now won in five sets. Portuguese defeated great Vladimir SAMSONOV who beat last week actual Olympic and World champion ZHANG Jike.

Last two encounters belonged to host players. Both in straight games. OVTCAHROV was better than FRANZ while SMIRNOV overcame WANG.

Fakel Gazproma Orenburg – AS Pontoise 3:2 (1st leg 3:0)
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV – WANG Jian Jun 2:3 (9:11, 11:2, 8:11, 13:11, 3:11)
Alexey SMIRNOV – Peter FRANZ 3:1 (11:8, 11:9, 2:11, 11:4)
Vladimir SAMSONOV – Marcos FREITAS 2:3 (9:11, 11:5, 5:11, 11:7, 9:11)
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV – Peter FRANZ 3:0 (11:7, 11:9, 11:8)
Alexey SMIRNOV – WANG Jian Jun 3:0 (11:8, 11:8, 11:6)

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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