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Russia’s Zenit Kazan Alexander Abrosimov spikes the ball against Mohamed Seif Elnasr (16), and Ashraf Abdouelhassan (right) of Egypt’s Zamalek during their FIVB Men’s Volleyball Club World Championship match in Doha yesterday. Zenit Kazan won 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-14). BOTTOM: Turkey’s Fenerbahce players celebrate a point against Kenya Prisons of Kenya, during their women’s match. Fenerbahce won 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-11).
BY DENZIL PINTO
DOHA: Poland’s PGE Skra won their crucial match against Al Arabi with a 3-1 card to qualify for the semi-finals at the expense of the Qatari side at the FIVB Club World Championships yesterday.
The 25-18, 25-17, 16-25, 25-17 result puts PGE Skra on top of Pool B.
In the other Pool B match yesterday, Zenit Kazan reached the semi-finals with a straight-set win over Egypt’s Zamalek at the Aspire Dome.
The European champions put on a dominant display in front of 535 spectators, cruising to a 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-14) victory.
Zenit will play Trentino Diatec in today’s semi-final whereas PGE Skra will face Sada Cruzeiro.
Meanwhile, in the women’s event, Fenerbahce maintained their 100 per cent record in this year’s campaign by thrashing Kenya Prisons 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-11).
The Turkish club will now face Rabita Baku in today’s semi-final.
Trailing 16-13 in the first set, Al Arabi’s Christian Pampel and Ribeiro Renan led a brief comeback to reduce the deficit to two points at 18-16. However, PGE Skra players grew with confidence and claimed the first set 25-17.
With PGE Skra securing the second set, Al Arabi fought back with Pampel and Ahmed Al Bakhet leading the Qatari side to a 16-10 lead.
Al Arabi soon grabbed the third set, thanks to Pampel’s serving and the attacking abilities of Mohammed Ibrahim.
PGE Skra led 8-3 in the fourth set, but several errors by the Polish side allowed Al Arabi back into the set, trailing 13-11.
Daniel Plinski and Aleksandar Atanasijevic, who top-scored with 19 points, added to their team’s points tally.
The Polish side lead increased thanks to Plinksi’s block and claimed the fourth set 25-17, which delighted the PGE Skra players.
Al Arabi’s coach Mauro Grasso would be proud of his team’s display knowing that he only started working with his players for one week before this competition started.
Meanwhile in the other Pool B match, points from America’s Matthew Anderson and Evgeny Sivozhelez gave Zenit an eight-point advantage at 16-8 in the first set.
Zamalek, who lost both matches in Doha, committed 10 unforced errors which allowed Zenit to claim the first set 25-13.
Anderson continued his good form in the second set with one block and two aces to help his side lead 16-9.
Zamalek’s Reda Haikal and Mohamed Badawel combined to score points as the Egyptian side aimed battle back.
But the Zamalek players could not find the cutting edge to spearhead their recovery, allowing Zenit’s coach Vlaimir Alenko to use his substitutes in the later part of the set.
Zenit opened an eight-point lead at 22-14. Despite late points from Zamalek, the Russian side won the second set 25-19.
In the third set, Alenko’s side turned the heat on Zamalek, taking a six-point lead at 16-10.
Zenit were far superior than Zamalek and wasted no time by claiming the third set 25-14 to win the match.
Elsewhere, in the final women’s pool match, Fenerbahce recovered from 5-3 down in the first set to lead 8-6.
Brazilians Marianne Steinbrecher and Paula Pequeno combined to help Fenerbache lead 16-11 at one stage.
Despite Kenya Prisons adding three points, Fenerbahce kept adding to their tally which allowed the Turkish side claim the first set 25-14.
Kenya Prison, who had a slim chance of making the semi-finals, made a good start in the second set. The Kenyan club, coached by David Lunh’aho, led 8-6.
Kenya Prisons’ concentration elapsed with several unforced errors to allow Fenerbahce take the lead for the first time.
With Fenerbahce leading 16-11, Seda Tokatlioglu was scoring the winners as the Turkish side edged closer to grabbing the second set.
However, Lunh’aho’s side could not cope with the attacking abilities and despite Lydia Maiyo’s efforts, Fenerbahce claimed the second set 25-17.
Fenerbahce coached by Kamil Soz, were 3-0 up in the third set thanks to two blocks by Tokatiloglu and a spike by Paula Pequeno.
As the Turkish side raced to a 8-1 lead, Kenya Prisons improved and reduced the deficit to seven points at 16-9 in favour to Fenerbahce.
The Turkish side then claimed the set (25-11) and match in front of 395 spectators.