Greece claim first World League podium in history


Greece Rafail Koumentakis beating the block from Chinese Taipei to enter the podium

Frankfurt am Main, Germany, July 2, 2016 – The start of the second day at the FIVB World League Final Group 3 in Frankfurt/Main brought out the first podium for Greece after a hard earned battle against Chinese Taipei that ended in four sets 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 27-25, 25-18) on Saturday. Captain Mitar Tzourits scored the most points (27) of the game; Ming Chun Wang (20) was the best player for the Asians. 

It was an easy affair for Greece in the first set. The team of coach Drikos Sotirios handled it by a great attack and great defence to surprise the other side. However, Chinese Taipei never found a solution and lost it in a clear way 19-25. At the beginning of the second set, the game changed totally in advantage for the Asians. Especially an improved attack turned the score after an equal start (23-20). A missed Greece service just found the way behind the line and closed the second set (25-22). 

As the match continued, it seemed that the Asians got the momentum on their side. Great block action and smart attacks cared a small lead till the second technical time-out (16-15). Although the Greece setter fond his opposite Tzourits time and again, it was not enough to gain an advantage on their side. As a result of this Chinese Taipei battled for two set balls in the crunch time (24-22). The crunch time provided long rallies as the spectators saw a Greece team that fended three set balls and need two for themselves to destroy the hopes of their opponents (27-25).

It was a defeat which was too much for Chinese Taipei. The players never recovered from this shocking result and had huge problems to play the fourth set. Greece team took this advantage with great block action and celebrated their first bronze as Tzourits smashed his last ball into the other side (25-18).


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