• Eczacibasi VitrA reigns supreme

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    Players, coaches and several supporters of the Eczacibasi VitrA volleyball club from Turkey celebrate after they were awarded the gold medal for their successful defense of the crown late Sunday night at the end of the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the MOA Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Players, coaches and several supporters of the Eczacibasi VitrA volleyball club from Turkey celebrate after they were awarded the gold medal for their successful defense of the crown late Sunday night at the end of the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the MOA Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Tatiana Kosheleva delivered the matching-clinching ace to tow Eczacibasi VitrA to a nail-biting 25-19, 20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-11 victory over Pomi Casalmaggiore and clinch the gold medal of the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship before a massive crowd late Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    The Russian star finished with 23 points, including the nerve-wracking ace in the final play as the Turkish club made history by becoming the first back-to-back champion of this prestigious tournament organized by Philippine Superliga and Eventcourt with TV5, Petron, Nature’s Spring, Asics, BMW and F2 Logistics as sponsors, Diamond Hotel as official residence and Turkish Airlines as official airlines.

    Earlier, Rexona-Sesc Rio went through the wringer before pulling off a masterful conquest of Hisamitsu Springs Kobe, 20-25, 25-22, 25-15, 30-32, 15-7, to settle for fifth place in this world-class event also bankrolled by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), San Miguel Corporation, Rexona, Mall of Asia Arena, Foton and Price Waterhouse Cooper with Mikasa, Gerflor and Jinling as technical sponsors.

    Also emerging victorious was Bangkok Glass, which defeated PSL-F2 Logistics Manila, 25-16, 25-23, 25-20, to claim the 7th place.

    Meanwhile, Vakifbank rediscovered its vaunted firepower in the deciding set to clobber Volero Zurich, 25-14, 21-25, 25-22, 25-11, to run away with the bronze medal.

    Sloetjes, the star player of the Dutch national team, delivered 16 kills while Serbian Milena Rasic had seven of her 15 points off blocks and Rio Olympics Most Valuable Player Zhu Ting submitted eight kills and five blocks for 13 points for VakifBank, which will enter the new season of the Turkish league oozing with momentum.

    Skipper Kirdar had 11 markers while Akman Kubra finished with nine points.

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