PAOK Exit Europe with Heads Held High
CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - POOL B (MATCHDAY 6)
|PAOK||3 - 1||VaLePa|
|(22 - 25)
(25 - 22)
(25 - 20)
(25 - 20)
PAOK recorded a 3-1 win at home over Sastamala in the CEV Champions League, but it was not enough to see them advance to the playoffs.
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The Greek champions needed a win and some results from other games to go in their favor in order to advance to the next phase. They got off to a good start early on, taking an 8-5 lead. This lead would soon be cut to just 16-15. A late surge by the visitors from Finland saw them take the set over PAOK, 22-25.
The second set was also tightly-contested, with the Finns having the upper hand 15-16. However, this time PAOK would be the ones to rally back and take it 25-22. The Finns responded by taking a 14-16 lead in the third, but once again PAOK made a big push late in the set to take it 25-20. The fourth set had a similar storyline, with the Finns losing their 13-16 lead, as PAOK would come from behind to win it 25-20.
PAOK had to hope for some results from other games to help them in order to qualify for the playoffs. They needed to be one of the three best third-placed teams out of five groups. Unfortunately for them, 3-2 wins by Chaumont and Berlin Recycling Volleys knocked them out of contention, and PAOK ultimately finished as the fourth-best third-placed team, thus missing out on the playoffs by one spot.