Olympic Games - Brazil 2016 (qualification process)

  • Why is Bakut such a surprice to the world? He has been an excellent opposite for years in Fakel. And from last season he's leading Gazprom as well with solid performances.


    I agree Russia has many strong opposites. They can take out for this tournament Pavlov, Moroz and Kruglov. And there's still Poletaev. Or Dima changing position.

  • Why is Bakut such a surprice to the world? He has been an excellent opposite for years in Fakel. And from last season he's leading Gazprom as well with solid performances.


    I agree Russia has many strong opposites. They can take out for this tournament Pavlov, Moroz and Kruglov. And there's still Poletaev. Or Dima changing position.


    The issue about Bakun is that he has never played for a major team or/and won anything big till now - and he's 30. (The Ukrainian championship won with Lokomotiv Kiev back in mid 2000s, to all my respect, fits this description too.) He did indeed look superb in some games; the recent encounters with Kazan and Moscow were just one big "wow" (a clear reason why Alekno invited Bakun to the NT) but in the very end there is still some doubt. I guess the choice was between him and Kruglov who plays together with Grankin in Dinamo Msk and therefore looks theoretically a more straightforward candidate. It is a great chance for the talented naturalised player, I would really like to see him using it. Otherwise, Pavlov is sick, Moroz is hopeless, Poletaev is considered too young.


    P.S. Yepp, if Rus loses to Bul tomorrow, Dima is highly likely to "change position". No, I'm talking about life overall not just volleyball, alas.

  • Bakun is one of the most underrated players in Superleague. I'm following his performances for years and most of the time he is one of the best players in league. As powsoff said he has been playing for "smaller" clubs and stayed under "the radar".


    Kovalev's injury is going to change situation for Russia, Alekno can't rotate setters and OPP's anymore. But I don't see how Konstantinov can surprise him today...

  • Bulgaria is pretty bad. Weakest team on the tourney together with Finland



    Oh, come on, they played badly today, this is an overstatement. I would talk about the game but there is nothing really to talk about. And it was more or less expected. There was hardly any chance for Bulgaria to qualify with this group of players, whereas Russia fully deserves to play in the semis. Let's avoid empty phrases. I was very embarrassed Bulgaria had NO blocks throughout the entire game. They scored one out of nowhere when the game had practically finished. I can't remember if I had ever seen such a poor blocking performance. And Bulgaria was the best blocking team at the recent ECH, block is also one of our positive, usually strong elements, one of the first weapons to try and stop Russia, or any other team for that matter. I still can't understand why Vladi Ivanov was barely used in these two days, he is the best libero Bulgaria has right now. Yosifov, Bulgaria's best blocker, entered the court too late as well. But these are all very tiny aspects on a more global scale which measures the Russian dominance accordingly.


    Maxim Mikhaylov was probably the game's MVP, but I would still give it to Tetyukhin for his contribution. Alekno had studied very well everything this Bulgaria could demonstrate. Surely there was little Konstantinov could do to react. I was super impressed by the 1-meter gap in block in the second set Russia left for Vlado Nikolov. Volkov was instructed to cover Nikolov's diagonal, whereas the other blocker (an OH or a setter in those rotations) covered the line. They formed a gap that would normally be exploited but Nikolov kept hitting the diagonal, thus falling into Alekno's trap. A perfectly prepared match by their head coach, he killed in advance any drama that would have been possible otherwise.


    Now I can write again that I have a hint regarding a second match this week between Russia and France. We'll see about that.


    On a side note, we can organize a Balkan Olympiad :D We will invite Serbia, Slovenia, and some other local volleyball giants :D Now seriously, good luck to those still fighting for Olympic quotas :)

  • Solid win for France against Finland, probably not much more to say about the match. Lets see if they bring on some subs tomorrow against Bulgaria.


    Poland vs. Germany will define the group winner. Assuming that France will be first in their group you would think that both teams will try to avoid playing France in the semis, so this should be a good match. But of course, you never know what is going on inside Vitals mind, so lets better be prepared for surprises. 8)


    The match will be sold out but i don't think there will be much of "home advantage" for the german team. :whistle:

  • Solid win for France against Finland, probably not much more to say about the match. Lets see if they bring on some subs tomorrow against Bulgaria.


    Poland vs. Germany will define the group winner. Assuming that France will be first in their group you would think that both teams will try to avoid playing France in the semis, so this should be a good match. But of course, you never know what is going on inside Vitals mind, so lets better be prepared for surprises. 8)


    The match will be sold out but i don't think there will be much of "home advantage" for the german team. :whistle:

    Vital is planning to give up this group match, and then give up the semi with France, save much energy and wait for the loser of POL-RUS, who might have been exhausted in a 5-set match until 11:30pm on Saturday, and have to play the 3rd place match at 1:30pm on Sunday. Then Germany has an edge. That's Vital's traditional strategy...


    Seeing Vital's trick, Antiga and Alekno start negotiation, and agree that they should play 1 set only, the loser of the 1st set should immediately surrender to make the game 0-3, so that both can save energy for Sunday. Finally, Vital is still screwed... lol...

  • Vital is planning to give up this group match, and then give up the semi with France, save much energy and wait for the loser of POL-RUS, who might have been exhausted in a 5-set match until 11:30pm on Saturday, and have to play the 3rd place match at 1:30pm on Sunday. Then Germany has an edge. That's Vital's traditional strategy...


    Seeing Vital's trick, Antiga and Alekno start negotiation, and agree that they should play 1 set only, the loser of the 1st set should immediately surrender to make the game 0-3, so that both can save energy for Sunday. Finally, Vital is still screwed... lol...


    :lol: :thumbup:
    Independently from todays outcome, the german semi-final will be played at 16.30 CET :whistle:


    If you read through the news today it seems that all players want to play but Heynen would prefer to rest some of them. Trauma of ECH seems to have left scars, at least with the players. Lets see what will happen. I guess we will see a lot of rotation within the match, depending on how the match goes.....


    France needs one set to advance and two to become first in group. Hard to imagine that they won't achieve this. I just rewatched parts of Russia-France match and yes, they are a pure joy to watch. Not seeing them in Rio would be a true shame.


    I am still not sure about the russian team. When was the last time, they stayed under 40% in attack percentage? Block, and especially defence looks quite good though. For any further opponent it will be decisive to limit Mykhailovs serving streaks. Time and schedule might not be in their favour too, although the day rest today could be exactly what they need.....

  • So France is leading 2:0 and sealed the first place in their group. Now they are playing with all subs.


    That means that the winner of Poland-Germany will play Russia and the loser will play France.