Kaliningrad, Russia, June 18, 2016 - Serbia claimed their second 2016 FIVB Word League victory after defeating Bulgaria 3-0 (26-28, 25-27, 18-25) at the Yantarny in Kaliningrad.
Bulgaria's hunt for a first competitive win over Serbia since 2012 must he hold off until the next occasion as Serbs claimed their eighth ever victory over Bulgarian in the World League. For Bulgarians this is the second loss in Kaliningrad after losing to Poland on Friday 3-1. Tsvetan Sokolov continues with his successful scoring for the team, but 20 points against Serbia were not enough to beat the opponent. Serbia is now up to win the pool, taking a second victory after defeat over Russia in straight sets on Friday. Team work paid off for Serbia as different roster remains as strong with Uros Kovacevic standing out with 16 points.
Bulgaria scored a three point advantage in the beginning o the first set owing to impressive attacks from Gotsev Svetoslav and Skrimov Todor. They patiently ran their offense forcing Nikola Grbic call his team for a time-out at 14-12. An ace by Nikola Jovovic helped Serbia even the score at 16-16 and his teammate Marko Podrascanin’s block brought them to the lead 20-21. Teams went point by point with eager to be the first who seals the set, but Serbia were stronger to push it to 26-28.
Serbia tried to put some pressure in set 2, but Bulgaria showed perfect defending skills and they were ahead by the first technical time-out 8-6. Bulgaria extended their lead with swift spiking from Tsvetan Sokolov and Viktor Yosifov. Serbia switched gears and wrested back to gain the even score 19-19. Neither of the teams gave in as they went close and reached 24-24 before Srecko Lisinac finished the job 25-27.
Serbia started set 3 with tenacity and soon dictated the tempo forcing Bulgaria to make errors 4-8. Drazen Luburic stormed forward with powerful spikes, while Bulgaria tried to find the way to bounce back and managed to shorten the gap within 2 points 14-16. Serbia remained calm to hold the commanding advantage with strikes from all angles and snatched the set 18-25.