Polish Cup: What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Stronger

All fans, experts and bookmakers were pretty sure that on last weekend of January, ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle will won Polish Cup just like year before. But final tournament brought big surprise, Andrea Gardini and his team lost their semi final game. With team which could disappear from polish volleyball map.

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In one of their songs band Bring Me The Horizon are singing “What doesn’t destroy you, leaves you broken instead”. In this league season team from Gdansk busted this myth. Just before start of PlusLiga they lost the main sponsor and were really close to leave the polish league. Situation was really hard, but they don’t lost their hope. After huge action of crowdfunding they collect enough money to start in the league. All of the players stayed in club, coach Andrea Anastasi too. Right now they are wearing kits with names of people who joined the action, to remember that they are their sponsors.

Although  they had problems with some injuries, Trefl Gdansk are in top of league table, and because of this they were able to went through qualifications to the final of Polish Cup. On the semi final they played with favorite of this tournament and last season winner – ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle. After first set won by ZAKSA it looks like everything is going according to Andrea Gardini’s plan. But when second set began, team from Gdansk improve their efficiency and won 3:1. It was third lost game against polish opponent for ZAKSA in this season. Before this match they lost only in Polish Super Cup and in one league game.

“For sure we played really good in block and defense, also I need to say that my setter, TJ Sanders played very well. Also important was that we were really calm. After we lost our leading, we came back to game and gained it back” – said Andrea Anastasi after the semi final. Mood on the other side of the net was much different.

Players from ZAKSA were disappointed. In last few games their disposition was lower, but they really wanted to won this trophy. I don’t think that Trefl Gdansk went thru the final because of bad performance of ZAKSA. They are really strong team with good coach, names like Mika, Szalpuk, Sanders or Nowakowski are making this squad a really great team” commented Georges Matijasevic, volleyball agent. For sure it wasn’t easy game for both coaches, they know each other very well.

I’m really happy for this game, because matches like this building great teams, but I won’t celebrate this win in face of Andrea Gardini. He is more than my friend, he is my brother and I’m wish him all best,” said Anastasi.

The second semi final was closer to pre match predictions. After three sets, Skra Belchatow won the game against Onico Warszawa. The biggest issue for the winners was lack of their first setter. Few days before tournament Grzegorz Lomacz got injury, and he won’t play probably for 6 weeks. The second setter, Marcin Janusz get MVP award and later on also best setter of tournament award.

The final result of the last game was like Spanish Inquisition – no one expected it. Trefl Gdansk played spectacular and won 3:0 against Belchatow. “It’s hard to adopt on the pitch when you taking the risk, serving with ball speed around 100-110 km/h,  they receiving it perfectly, and then setting the ball to middle blockers!” said after the game Skra Belchatow scoutman, Robert Kazmierczak. “I expected more difficult game. This result is a surprise for me. Mateusz Mika played very well, it was good performance of both setters… I need to admit that whole team from Gdansk was in perfect form in this tournament,” commented Georges Matijasevic. After the tournament, both wing spikers and oppsite spikers received individual awards. “It wasn’t game of middle blockers, it was a game of wing spikers. They had better efficiency in spike, Trefl serving and blocking very well. They totally deserved this trophy and I can only say “congratulation” – said Robert Kazmierczak.

It hard to say how will look the future of the club, but all polish volleyball fans are keeping fingers crossed for them. “I hope that our performance on this tournament will help club in searching for new sponsors. We are really proud that we can representing Gdansk, and we want to still feel that energy, which city are giving to us.” commented Andrea Anastasi.

“It’s hard to say how it will be look at the end, but club is trying to ensure my players that from financial aspect everything will be fine. It’s really good place for players, well managed and with really good coach, I hope everything will be fine” said agent of TJ Sanders and Piotr Nowakowski.

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