I'll have to watch the replay to see what the hell happened, because when I left, it looked like Tianjin was cruising towards an easy victory and Novara looked totally hopeless.
Vakifbank vs Praia will also be on Sport Klub 1 tomorrow, Tianjin vs Novara on Sport Klub 2.
On Wednesday, Eczacibasi vs Minas on SK1 and Guangdong vs Conegliano on SK2.
It looks like there won't be live TV games in the next two rounds
Maribor vs Vakifbank is the only match that Sport Klub is showing this week. This is why I hate teams from ex-Yugoslavia playing in the CL.
Poor Popovic, has to play OH once again.. Is Gamma a Croatian surname? Sounds Italian to me
From what I remember, her husband is a basketball player, half-Sudanese (on father's side), half-Croatian. Or something like that.
I bet if USA was banned, everybody would agree that the spot should belong to Bulgaria.
Absolutely not. Nobody should be rewarded for having the luck of draw (or rather, the serpentine system) to be drawn together with a team that got disqualified.
That was probably Finland.
Well, hopefully Russia doesn't get banned, so this will all be irrelevant.
If they still do, the FIVB should have an additional qualifying round (LOL, not gonna happen, I know), or the highest ranked team that missed on the qualifying should get the spot. It would be far from ideal, but it's at least a somewhat objective criterion.
In any case, South Korea should NOT get the spot automatically for beating Mexico and Canada.
Well, not really a surprise, Conegliano is just on a different level compared to everyone else. They might well go undefeated this season.
Novara, though. Losing to Monza who've struggled so far. Weird stats, looks like both teams had problems putting the ball down.
I didn't expect Pomi to beat Chieri so easily. Guerra has really fallen off - remember when she used to be a prospect?!
Smarzek spent two sets on the court tonight and didn't score.
It was a fun little fluff piece.
In the end they were arguing about who would pay for the coffee, Mina complains that Ana never lets her buy it, while Ana says she's older so Mina has to obey her.
They also talked about the social life, it's quite limited because Casalmaggiore is a small town, so if they want to have a night out, they need to go to Parma or Milan, and it's not a short ride. Mina misses it sometimes, while Ana says she's got too old for clubbing anyway But they say their team mates are a lot of fun and they often hang out and spend time together.
Ana doesn't like Italian food I don't know how that's possible, but hey.
Mina says that after spending so much time in Italy, people have stopped treating her like a foreigner, which sometimes bothers her because then they tend to tell her stuff they otherwise wouldn't and she's not always interested. On the other hand, Ana can still pretend that she doesn't understand the language if she's not interested in the conversation.
The whole interview (in Serbian) is here:
I'm actually rather impressed the journalist had the guts to ask her all the real questions, like why she didn't want to play or what was Terzić's reaction and how the whole thing went down exactly.
There's no doubt that Terzić was being super shady putting her on the spot like he did, but come to think about it, he never actually said he didn't know why she didn't want to play. He just said she was invited, didn't show up, and he didn't want to comment on it any further. That certainly is somewhat cynical, but with her reasons for not wanting to play this summer, she doesn't come out of this story looking good either, IMO.
Those highlights didn't include the most important thing: when asked what's the exact reason why she wanted to skip this season, she said it's because she's not happy with her status on the NT and that her communication with Terzić is bad. Or in other words, she's not happy that Veljković had taken her place as a starter. So: gurl, bye.
Also, she admits that Terzić never agreed with her decision to skip the NT season. He just didn't say anything, which made her think he's OK with it.
Carlini working her magic again, her MBs got 19 balls over 5 sets
There was never anything public, much less official about it. There were rumours that things were pretty bad after London and it's not really a secret a lot of people wanted Terzić gone, but from what I understand, it had more to do with the staff (some of which got replaced, team manager included) and the internal struggle for power within the federation and less with the players themselves. I don't doubt that some of them wanted the coach to changed, but I doubt it was 90% of the team. There were in fact some rumours that certain players (Rašić, Ognjenović) would quit IF Terzić got replaced.
CRO had russian players in the past? naturalized ones?
Yes, Irina Kirillova (setter), Elena Chebukina (MB) and Tatyana Sidorenko (OH). They all used to played on the Soviet NT and were really, really good. Kirillova in particular, she's a legend of the game, also Giovanni Caprara's wife. They represented Croatia 1995-2000, though not always all of them at the same time.
Then they wanted to replace Kirillova with another Russian setter, Maria Likhtenstein, and they briefly did, but then the FIVB changed their regulations about the number of naturalized players per team (you could only have one, as it still stands), so they decided to keep only Chebukina and she went to the Sydney Olympics.
The last time I know those rules were enforced was in 2000 when Croatia summoned their Russian players to play the Olympic qualifications, and they didn't want to (Kirillova in particular, she even burst into tears in public over it), but it was made well clear their licenses would be revoked if they didn't show up, so they had to.
Also, from what I remember, Bulgarian federation threatened to take action against some of their female players a couple of years ago, but nothing came off it as far as I know.
It almost never happens nowadays because it would almost certainly result in lawsuits and such and it would be a big mess. Also, federations earn good money on players licenses and their transfers, so a suspension of a player would not be in their best financial interest.
As far as I know, Matthias is right and in theory the clubs are obligated to let their players go to the NT competitions, just like players cannot refuse to play if invited, or they could be suspended. However, those rules are very rarely enforced, if ever.
She's not playing like in her best days in Pomi (and she never really played like that on NT, somehow) and Serbian NT has obviously shown that they can do just fine without her, but still, in her best form, she's a formidable player and if she can regain that form, she'd have a place on any team. I hope she hasn't closed the door behind her forever.
But it's still annoying that she doesn't say exactly why she wanted to skip this summer. And frankly, if it's because she wanted to hang out with Egonu, I wouldn't have accepted it as a valid enough reason either if I was in Terzić's place. Every single player has their partners, families, friends they miss out on spending time with. It goes with the territory. Hell, Silvija Popović missed her son's first day at school. And I'm sorry, but she's not Rašić who's earned her right to get some time off after being a part of the team for literally a decade. She still has a way to go.
And you'd think it's something you'd first discuss with your coach and not the president of the national volleyball federation (twice, no less). There's got to be much more to that story. OTOH, she still gets along great with pretty much everyone on the NT and no one seems to hold any kind of grudge against her, so who the hell knows.
Well, Terzić obviously didn't accept her reasons for skipping the NT season, whatever they were, and expected her to show up at the start of preparations (which she could have done, even though she didn't intend to play!), she didn't do it, and that's it.
As for the "lack of communication", I don't see it as an issue for any other player currently on the NT, so I don't know why she should be that special snowflake who needs her hand to be held 24/7. She doesn't sound all too convincing telling her side of the story, IMO.
But still, I hope the problem will be solved, she's still an asset for the team.
Of course Novara needs Brakočević back and in good shape, because they really need to diversify their attack. Last night they had only two reliable scoring options - Vasileva, who is indeed playing really well again but is going to struggle if she keeps being set as many balls, and Veljković, who is of course on the court only half the time, and whenever she was out, Novara was in trouble. Basically, with this current line-up, they need Vasileva and both MBs to be in top form throughout the whole match and that's difficult. Not to mention that if you overuse your MBs, a good opponent will adapt to it and they'll be much less efficient over time.
But still, this version of Novara is much more entertaining to watch than the all Egonu all the time show of the previous season.