The CEV Champions League saw plenty of action over the last week, as both the Womens and Mens Playoff 12 rounds came to a close. The next stage is the Playoff 6, where the 6 winning teams for each gender will play off to break it down to three teams remaining. Those three teams will meet the previously announced host teams, and the Champions League will be decided by a final four tournament.
For the women, the following six teams made it through the opening stages:
Rabita BAKU (AZE)
Scavolini PESARO (ITA)
VakifGunesTTelekom ISTANBUL (TUR)
Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL (TUR)
Voléro ZÜRICH (SUI)
Bank BPS Fakro MUSZYNA (POL).
Scavolini PESARO managed to beat a tough Dinamo MOSCOW squad without even requiring a golden set. Anybody who was underestimating the Italian squad will be cautious now. Bank BPS Fakro MUSZYNA was the only squad that was forced into a golden set as a visitor and still managed to win. Otherwise, the golden set format favourite the hosting teams every single time. Moving forward, I believe Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL should be considered a favourite to go all the way to the finals. The finals will be hosted in Turkey already, with FenerbahceAcibadem ISTANBUL having been named final four tournament hosts.
On the Mens side of the tournament, the following six teams will compete for a place in the final four:
Bre Banca Lannutti CUNEO (ITA)
PGE Skra BELCHATOW (POL)
Zenit KAZAN (RUS)
Dinamo MOSCOW (RUS)
JASTRZEBSKI Wegiel (POL)
Noliko MAASEIK (BEL)
Half of the six teams were forced into a golden set in order to pass the Playoff 12 round. Every time, the hosting team won the crucial set to 15. Zenit KAZAN, Bre Banca Lannutti CUNEO, and Noliko MAASEIK had the easiest times in their opening round match ups, and can be looked to as favourites moving into the next round. Dinamo MOSCOW, a consummate competitor in both mens and womens competition, just scraped by with a golden set victory. Their female counterparts were knocked out in their own Playoff 12, so the men will have to defend the club honour. All the teams are fighting for a spot in the final four, hosted in Italy by TRENTINO BetClic.
Kill on Two will be here with plenty of updates, times, and links to streams as the Playoff 6 round kicks off.