Giants lost to Red Rebels (Men’s D2B - London Volleyball League) 16:21 16:21 19:21 De Souza Ankle injury The new season got under way without a hitch down the road from Clapham Junction Station and with an entertaining game in which one of the league's new entries entertained a well established outfit. The visitors came out on top.
Initially there was little between the teams but from 3:all to 8:17 Giants' relative inexperience showed through and there was not much subtlety in their play allowing Rebels' growing confidence to manifest itself with some impressive play not least the big hits from Angelino de Souza, Will Sandall, Marek Cynar and Muhammad Glynas. Then a couple of errors and suddenly Giants were back in the game. Indeed, of the final twelve rallies of the set, Giants won eight to Rebels' four. But not enough.
Despite a couple of good Giants' hits: from Dimitrov Radostin and Anton Romalijsky, Rebels again turned on the power for the first half of the second set and led 6:11 when the home side sought a time-out. The break settled the players and the rest of the set was entertaining, strongly contested and of a pretty good standard. Giants did manage to level things at 13:all prior to Rebels drawing away again for a six point lead at 13:19 before the set closed at the same score as the previous one.
For the third set, Denzel rested himself, bringing on Hoahn Lam to set and show what he had learned watching in Rio and Atam Shuma into the attack. They slotted in well and, helped by a couple of Giants errors, took an early lead of 3:9. Giants' come-back began with a service ace into the corner of Rebels' court by Anton and they levelled things at 11:all. Unfortunately, in the play at the net that earned that point, Antonio injured his right ankle and had to hobble off. It looked very serious but, at the end of the match, he thought it was something that should get better fairly quickly. The injury affected both sides but Rebels: perhaps through experience, perhaps through determination, recovered the quicker and pulled ahead to 14:17 and although the closing stages were played well by both sides, that edge saw Rebels home by a two point margin.
The injury to Antonio apart, it had been a most enjoyable evening.
What was particularly agreeable was the turnout of both sides in uniform strips showing volleyball in an excellent light to other users of the venue. Giants' outfit even included the appropriate national logo for each player. A nice touch from the sponsor.
Battersea Sports Centre : Battersea, 5th October
Players: Giant Men Starting Six: Gordon Davenport, Victor Goncalves, Herve Mottais (captain), Francesco Regante, Marcin Tkaczuk, Krasi Zhechev. Liberos: Federico Cifuentes, Ibrail Khan. Other players: Simon Granger, Rafael Jovanelle, Dimitrov Radostin, Anton Romalijsky. Coach: A Kales.
London Red Rebels Starting Six: Marek Cynar, Angelino de Souza, Denzil Faure (captain), Muhammad Glynas, Will Sandall, Evangelos Tsiapkiars. Libero: Other Players: Hoanh Lam, Atam Shuma, Christopher Yoon. Coach: Denzel Faure.