Eczacibasi VitrA makes history, wins back-to-back titles
Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul became the first club to win back-to-back FIVB Women's Club World Championship titles.
Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul wrote history winning back-to-back crowns with a dramatic 25-19, 20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-11 title match victory against the feisty Pomi Casalmaggiore in the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.
The Italian club led early in the fifth set, 10-8, before Eczacibasi erased the deficit with a punishing four-point swing to take a 12-10 lead. Pomi Casalmaggiore returned fire to stop the bleeding but the Turkish team won't be denied of a date with history after pounding the championship scoring run capped by Tatiana Kosheleva service ace to become the first club to win two straight titles.
Kosheleva scored 23 points anchored on 18 kills, four aces and a kill block, Serbian Tijana Boskovic had 17 while Thaisa Daher Pallesi and Jordan Larson-Burbach, who pushed Eczacibasi at match point with an off speed, finished with 10 each.
Meanwhile, VakifBank Istanbul displayed its vaunted firepower in the fourth set to clobber Volero Zurich, 25-14, 21-25, 25-22, 25-11, and cop the bronze medal.
The Turkish powerhouse, which won the gold medal in 2013, banked on its balanced scoring and rock-solid defense to complete the conquest.
Earlier, Rexona-Sesc Rio went through the wringer before pulling off a masterful conquest of Hisamitsu Springs Kobe, 20-25, 25-22, 25-15, 30-32, 15-7.
Lonneke Sloetjes, the star player of the Dutch national team, delivered 16 kills while Serbian Milena Rasic had seven of her 15 points off blocks and Rio Olympics Most Valuable Player Zhu Ting submitted eight kills and five blocks for 13 points for VakifBank, which will enter the new season of the Turkish league oozing with momentum.
Skipper Gozde Kirdar had 11 markers while Akman Kubra finished with nine points.
Dobriana Rabadzhieva registered 12 kills for 13 points for Volero Zurich, which was unbeaten in the pool play before crashing with a pair of losses to Pomi Casalmaggiore in the semifinals and VakifBank in the classification battle to settle for 4th place.
PSL-F2 Manila finished eighth
PSL-F2 Logistics Manila closed its first-ever campaign in the world stage without a win yet the host squad especially the local players gained valuable experience and exposure.
Southeast Asian powerhouse Bangkok Glass swept PSL-F2, 25-16, 25-23, 25-20, in the battle for seventh spot in the eight-club field.
Americna import Ashley Frazier finished with 12 points while Thidarat Phengvechai added 11 for Bangkok Glass.
Jaja Santiago hammered 11 points for PSL-F2 Logistics Manila, while Lindsay Stalzer added eight, Stephanie Niemer chipped in seven and Lynda Morales and Yevgeniya Nyukhalova contributed six apiece for the home team.
The home team never won a match in five games but they snatched a set over eventual champion Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul, 17-25, 17-25, 25-23, 14-25, in the pool play.
“Dumikit ‘yung score naming and every point sobrang nagse-celebrate kami kasi ‘yun ‘yung sabi sa amin ni coach na ‘yun ang makakapagpataas ng morale ng team ‘yung pag-celebrate namin ng team and naipakita din namin noong third set na dumukit kami kahit locals lang ang ginamit,” said PSL-F2 Logistics Manila skipper Rachel Anne Daquis.