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Secures No. 2 seed in Pool B.
VakifBank Istanbul banked on a late rally as it dumped Bangkok Glass, 25-19, 25-23, 25-18, yesterday to take the No. 2 seeding in Pool B of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Tied 16-all in the third set, the VakifBank spikers rallied with seven straight points to gain a 23-16 upper hand and never looked back.
VakifBank finished the two-bracket preliminaries with two wins and one loss for seven points behind top seed Volero Zurich, which topped the four-team group with three wins for eight points.
With the development, VakifBank is set to collide with the Pool A top seed and reigning champion Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul in the semifinals, while Volero Zurich clashes with Pool A second seed Pomi Casalmaggiore.
Lonneke Sloetjes, a member of the Dutch national team that finished fourth in the recent Rio Olympics, bannered VakifBank Istanbul with 17 points built on 15 points and two blocks, while skipper Gozde Kirdar fired eight spikes to finish with 11 points.
VakifBank Coach Giovanni Guidetti still lauded the efforts of Bangkok Glass.
“Everytime I play against a team from Thailand, I’m always very fascinated with the way they play volleyball at this level without a lot of height,” said Guidetti.
“They play incredible volleyball. They’re an example to everybody because technique is more important,” he added.
Bangkok Glass, meanwhile, finished its campaign without a win after three tries.
Wilavan Apinyapong led the Asian champions with 14 points, all coming from attacks, while captain Pleumjit Thinkaeow contributed eight points.
VakifBank needed only 71 minutes to topple Bangkok Glass, overpowering them with 57 attacks and six blocks.