Hosts Sastamala Edge PAOK in CEV Champions League Opener
CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - POOL B (MATCHDAY 1)
|Sastamala||3 - 2||PAOK|
|(25 - 19)
(27 - 29)
(33 - 35)
(25 - 23)
(15 - 11)
PAOK’s CEV Champions League season commenced on Tuesday, as they narrowly lost 3-2 in Finland to Sastamala.
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While the Greek champions had a strong start to the first set, trailing only 14-13, it was the Finnish team that would eventually grab the set 25-19. The hosts seemed to be cruising to an easy victory in the second set, as they jumped out to a 19-14 lead. However, PAOK would fight back to cut the deficit to one, at 20-19. PAOK would eventually take the set 27-29, saving two set points along the way.
With the score level at one set apiece, PAOK would edge out Sastamala in the third set, 33-35, to take a 2-1 lead. In that nail-biting set, PAOK would save three set points, and needed a total of eight set points to clinch it. PAOK would go up 5-8 in the fourth set, but just as they seemed to be headed for victory, the Fins hung in there and were able to win the set 25-23, sending the match into a decisive 15-point fifth set.
The fifth set started out even, with the score being 3-3 after six points. However, the Fins would then win the next four points to build a 7-3 lead. After that, they never looked back, taking the set 15-11, thus giving them the match win by an overall score of 3-2.
PAOK will travel to Turkey for their next match against Halkbank Ankara on December 21, where they will hope to get their first Champions League win of the season.