Florence, Italy, September 15, 2018 – Slovenia came back from two sets down to edge Belgium 3-2 in an eagerly anticipated European derby at Mandela Forum in Florence on Saturday.
Slobodan Kovac, head coach of Slovenia: “This is a great victory! At the beginning of the match, I told those of my players sitting on the bench that the important player is the one who finishes the game, not the one who starts. It is a team victory, especially since at 0-2, many people thought it was going to end soon, but we improved our performance above all in serve, block and defence.”
Tine Urnaut, captain of Slovenia: “I am so happy, because we came back from 0-2, and my teammates who took to the court later in the match showed that they deserved to play. They helped so much; it is a very important victory.”
Sam Deroo, captain of Belgium: “It was a tough game, as we are close to each other’s level. We started fresher than they were but they are a very well balanced team with a great roster. Their substitutes made the difference; congratulations to them. It could have been a 3-0 victory for us. However, everything is still possible but we cannot afford to lose any more points in any other match of the pool.”
Andrea Anastasi, Belgium head coach: “First of all congratulations to Slovenia, because they improved their level during the match. We did not take advantage of some positive situations and we made stupid mistakes; and when you do that, you lose. They had a better attitude and more desire to win.”