National cup winners celebrate in Belgium and Slovakia, women’s champions emerge in Philippines

A recap of last week’s domestic trophy finals

Knack Roeselare and Asterix Avo Beveren won the men’s and the women’s national cups of Belgium on Saturday. VKP FTVS UK Bratislava and Slavia Kooperativa EUBA Bratislava followed suit in Slovakia on Sunday. Also on Saturday, Petro Gazz Angels Manila triumphed as women’s volleyball Champions League winners in the Philippines.

 

Belgium

The men’s and the women’s finals of the Belgium Cup were played in front of 10 thousand spectators at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp on Saturday. Knack Roeselare claimed the men’s trophy for the second consecutive, and the 16th time in history, after a 3-1 (25-17, 25-27, 25-16, 25-17) victory over Decospan Menen in the first of the two finals. Knack’s 22-year-old opposite Seppe Rotty (pictured on the main photo; credits: D’Nyserweg / knackvolley.be) was the best scorer of the match with 19 points to his name, including two aces and two kill blocks. In December’s home-and-away semifinals, Knack knocked out Lindemans Aalst, while Decospan eliminated Volley Haasrode Leuven.

Knack Roeselare’s team roster

Knack Roeselare celebrate with their fans (Photo credits: D’Nyserweg / knackvolley.be)

 

The women’s final offered fans a five-set spectacle, in which Charleroi Volley denied five opponent match points in sets three and five combined, before Asterix Avo Beveren could celebrate a 3-2 (25-20, 25-18, 25-27, 20-25, 16-14) victory and their second consecutive and 18th overall national cup crown. 21-year-old Dutch outside hitter Iris Vos contributed a match-high 29 points, including five aces and two kill blocks, towards her team’s success. In December’s two-match semifinal series, Asterix defeated Bevo Rekkenshop Roeselare twice, while Charleroi secured the win against CapitalatWork BAO Tchalou Volley Thuillies after a golden set.

Asterix Avo Beveren’s team roster

Philippines

The 2024 edition of the Philippines’ women’s PNVF Champions League took place last week at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila, with five teams participating. In Saturday’s final, Petro Gazz Angels Manila mastered a 3-0 (25-19, 27-25, 25-22) victory over regular season winners Cignal HD Spikers Manila to claim their first title in the four-year history of the competition. Chery Tiggo Crossovers Manila took the bronze after a 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-13) sweep of the third-place match against College of Saint Benilde Manila.

Angels’ 25-year-old Filipino-American outside hitter Brooke Van Sickle was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP), as well as securing a place on the Dream Team of the tournament, together with setter Angelica Cayuna (Cignal), opposite Gayle Pascual (Saint Benilde), outside hitter Jonah Sabete (Petro Gazz), middle blockers Abigail Marano (Chery Tiggo) and Remy Palma (Petro Gazz), and libero Dawn Macandili-Catindig (Cignal).

Petro Gazz Angels with their Japanese coach Koji Tsuzurabara and PNVF President Ramon Suzara (Photo credits: volleyballphilippines.com)

 

Slovakia

The two Slovakia Cup finals for men and for women were held on the same day at the same venue, in Nitra. Slavia Kooperativa EUBA Bratislava claimed the women’s trophy for the 16th time in the history of the competition. In the gold medal showdown, they mastered a convincing 3-0 (25-8, 25-23, 25-11) win over Nove Mesto nad Vehom. 16-year-old outside hitter Michaela Kanova was the only player to reach a double digits score in the match, contributing 20 points, including three aces and two kill blocks towards Slavia’s victory. In the home-and-away semifinals played in December and January, Slavia snatched the win against Volley project UKF Nitra and Nove Mesto nad Vehom beat VKP FTVS UK Bratislava.

Slavia Kooperativa EUBA Bratislava’s team roster

VKP FTVS UK Bratislava won the men’s final. To claim the ninth men’s Slovakia Cup trophy in the club’s history and the first since 2010, they delivered a 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 25-12) win over Rieker UJS Komarno. While 22-year-old outside Michal Trubac topped the scorers’ chart of the match with 18 points for VKP, including three aces and a block, the MVP recognition went to his teammate, 36-year-old setter and captain Juraj Zat’ko. To advance to the final, VKP achieved two semifinal wins over TJ Spartak Myjava, while Rieker knocked out MIRAD UNIPO Presov in a golden set.

 

VKP FTVS UK Bratislava’s team roster