2013 CEV European League - 13/06

  • Belgium dominates Croatia in EL-final with convincing 3-0 victory.

    I wasn't really convinced by Belgium's victory over Czech republic in yesterday semi's: Van den Dries was struggling to get his points, so the team was too dependent on Deroo.
    In the final, however, everything worked out well: Van den Dries and Deroo dominating in attack , VandeVoorde superb in blocking, Verhanneman and Dejonckheere secure in serve reception and Valkiers great as a setter.
    This was Belgian's greatest match in the entire campaign.

    I look forward to the World league qualification and the European Championships: Depestele and Verhees will join the team, but wat about Raymaekers: will he get Coolman's spot? Who will be 2nd setter next to Depestele: Verschueren/Valkiers? Van den Dries earned his spot as no 1 opposite: who will be second: Van Walle/Tuerlinckx?

    I must say, the overall level of the EL-league was a bit dissapointing. A few years ago, Belgium shared a pool with The Netherlands, Germany and Spain (EC champion at that time). 2 years ago Slovenia was dominating our pool. Now all those teams are gone.

    In this final 4, I expected a little more of Croatia in particular. I guess they are building a new generation after Kovacevic, Vulin, Omrcen, etc.

  • Belgium, after winning the European League, would play an intercontinental tournament against Puerto Rico, Venezuela or Dominican Republic next week. After winning that game, the winner plays against Japan to earn a spot in World League 2014.

    Yesterday, the FIVB announced that this intercontinental tournament is cancelled, because they hadn't found a country who could organize this tournament. This is false, because Belgium did everything to organize this tournament in Antwerp.

    Now, the FIVB will look if Belgium deserves the spot in the World League. The Belgian players are very dissapointed and angry, because the amateurism of FIVB destroyed the dreams of these players. As a small country, the Red Dragons worked very hard to earn this spot and after winning the European League, the future was bright. But now, all the players are devastated.