Do you believe in fairytales?
Well, this is what we’ve witnessed during the Big Final of this year’s edition of FIVB World League.
The big stars of this great event were France and Serbia. Nobody (and I could repeat it millions of times) thought we would watch exactly those two teams playing for the title in the most commercial international volleyball tournament. Neither Laurent Tillie, nor Nikola Grbic had expected this successful outcome.
Neither France, nor Serbia had won the title in this tournament before, although Serbia if had already played final matches (vs. Brazil in 2008 & 2009).
The way to the victory for France started with a remarkable 14-0 run in Group 2 in FIVB World League 2015. Then Tem Yavbou had to do a long trip from Bulgaria to Brazil with practically no rest. They had to quickly get used to a different time zone and additionally two of the best teams in the world (Brazil & USA) were waiting for Ngapeth and co to play versus in the first round. Then France had to beat Poland and finally Serbia – teams who were also hungry for victories. What could we say? France gained our respect for years ahead.
Earvin Ngapeth with his leadership, cunning and skill achievement won the affection and respect of all volleyball fans.
On the other hand, Serbia entered the Final 6 with a 7-5 record in regular season. The guys aroung Nikola Grbic also lost vs. Italy by 2-3 ( having in mind that Squadra Azzura played without several suspended good players). It seemed that the Serbians will go directly to the Guillotine when they had to face the world champions from Poland. The players from the Balkans this time said “not yet”and took the win by 3-2 beating the Poles 15-13 in the tie break. After this win, Team Serbia also beat the reigning FIVB World League champions from USA, once again with 3-2.
Despite the mental and the body fatigue, both teams (France and Serbia) played the final with their hearts and souls.
What we have learnt from this great volleyball spectacle is the following conclusion: ”If you have the opportunity in your hand, don’t let it slip away”.
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As per FIVB World League …we are going to miss it and we will be waiting for the next exciting edition of the tournament in 2016!