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Champions League Men - 3 Jun 2014

SAMSONOV regrets first game in France


The main candidate for the title in 2013/14 Men`s European Champions League, Fakel Gazproma Orenburg didn`t manage to take third crown in a row. Last year they lifted the trophy thanks to better points ratio (315:311) against Charleroi, but this time they

The main candidate for the title in 2013/14 Men`s European Champions League, Fakel Gazproma Orenburg didn`t manage to take third crown in a row. Last year they lifted the trophy thanks to better points ratio (315:311) against Charleroi, but this time they were beaten according set ratio (16:18) in battle with AS Pontoise Cergy. 

Russian club was in very good position after two games in returning home match, having 2:0 advantage (OVTCHAROV beat WANG, SAMSONOV overcame FREITAS, both took five sets).

“We had a good chance to win, but it didn’t work out well. The rival was very strong. All games were very tense, we fought to the very last ball. We started well and outscored 2:0 after two matches, and hoped for the victory, but our bad performance in France affected it”, stressed Vladimir SAMSONOV who is still MECL record holder with total 10 titles (3 with Borussia, 5 with Charleroi, 2 with Orenburg). 

French side had 3:1 (10:5) advantage from the first leg, but young Kristian KARLSSON was not considered as favorite against Alexey SMIRNOV, the best no. 3 player in MECL in last couple of seasons. However, Swede beat him in five tense games. It meant that Pontoise is the new champion

The game was very difficult. We lost in sets finally. That’s sports. It was bad luck”, emphasizes Alexey SMIRNOV (37 year), the 2005 Europe Top 12 winner

It was the first ever Pontoise`s final and title too, and fifth ETTU final in a row for Orenburg (2010 ETTU Cup winner, 2012, 2013 MECL winner, 2011, 2014 MECL runner-up).

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