Challenge Cup: The golden book of the competition, first title for Greece - Sportish
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Challenge Cup: The golden book of the competition, first title for Greece



Olympiacos joined the teams that won the Challenge Cup in men’s volleyball while putting Greece on the relevant list.

On Wednesday evening Olympiacos won the Challenge Cup in men’s volleyball and achieved the three European titles.

However, this was his first in the competition and also the Greek team’s first at the institution. Of course, as you can see in the respective lists, Italy comes first with 28 conquests.

The Golden Book of the Challenge Cup

  • 1980–81: Cannes (France)
  • 1981–82: Sternlift Voorburg (Netherlands)
  • 1982–83: Modena (Italy)
  • 1983–84: Modena (Italy)
  • 1984–85: Modena (Italy)
  • 1985–86: Falconara (Italy)
  • 1986–87: Milan (Italy)
  • 1987–88: Leningrad (Soviet Union)
  • 1988–89: Leningrad (Soviet Union)
  • 1989–90: Mercer (West Germany)
  • 1990–91: Sisley Treviso (Italy)
  • 1991–92: Parma (Italy)
  • 1992–93: Sisley Treviso (Italy)
  • 1993–94: Padova (Italy)
  • 1994–95: Parma (Italy)
  • 1995–96: Cuneo (Italy)
  • 1996–97: Ravenna (Italy)
  • 1997–98: Sisley Treviso (Italy)
  • 1998–99: Palermo (Italy)
  • 1999–00: Roma (Italy)
  • 2000–01: Macerata (Italy)
  • 2001–02: Cuneo (Italy)
  • 2002–03: Sisley Treviso (Italy)
  • 2003–04: Modena (Italy)
  • 2004–05: Macerata (Italy)
  • 2005–06: Macerata (Italy)
  • 2006–07: Fakel Novi (Russia)
  • 2007–08: Modena (Italy)
  • 2008–09: Arkas (Turkey)
  • 2009–10: Perugia (Italy)
  • 2010–11: Macerata (Italy)
  • 2011–12: Czestochowa (Poland)
  • 2012–13: Piacenza (Italy)
  • 2013-14: Fenerbahce (Turkey)
  • 2014–15: Vojvodina (Serbia)
  • 2015–16: Verona (Italy)
  • 2016–17: Fakel Novi (Russia)
  • 2017–18: Ravenna (Italy)
  • 2018–19: Belogory Belgorod (Russia)
  • 2020–21: Milan (Italy)
  • 2021–22: Narbonne (France)
  • 2022-23: Olympiacos

Titles by Country

  1. Italy 28
  2. Russia 3
  3. Turkey 2
  4. soviet union 2
  5. France 2
  6. Poland 1
  7. Netherlands 1
  8. West Germany 1
  9. Serbia 1
  10. Greece 1

Source: sport 24

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Alexandros Raptis on Sportish: “Everyone at PAOK worked like an MVP”




Alexandros Raptis spoke to Sportish about the MVP title and his team a few hours after his magical performance in the Greek Cup final in volleyball and winning the cup from PAOK.

The wind in Greek volleyball shifted from south to north. It went from Olympiakos’ European title to PAOK’s conquest of the Greek Cup.

In this sudden Provenza the Thessalonians had a strong foremast, Alexander Raptis. The 23-year-old – who is playing in his debut season at Dikefalos – ‘gassed’ the Red and White defense with 28 points in the cup final, taking PAOK by the hand and leading them to the crown.

He was the main protagonist of the game and the MVP of the Kalamata event. In his interview with Sportish, he accepted this title with difficulty. He took a step back and pointed to his teammates, his coach and said, “The whole PAOK team worked like an MVP”.

Raptis celebrates against Olympiakos in the cup final

“A good day for PAOK wasn’t just the final. We had bad days before and now we have good days. This game came after months of effort. We have a lot of goals and we won’t stop at this trophy.”

Of course we are very happy about the win. Although this joy will last for a while as we continue our efforts. That is our task. The celebration lasts a while. We are used to it and have learned to function in it.

Each title has its own sweetness, but – as happens in our lives – the joys last as long as we let them last. In this case, the team needs to stay focused as the next goal is within reach. The championship is on”highlighted Alexandros Raptis with the magic 76% in attack and the three aces.

The title is worthy of Milenkoski’s faith in us

He particularly referred to the loyalty of the legitimate Josko Milenkoski to the players of the doubleheader and pointed out that the cup is a separate chapter from the championship. “I don’t think winning the cup is a message, or at least I don’t have a message to report right now. I can’t think of anything. The title deserves the team and their commitment. The coach’s commitment and the confidence he has shown in us has are worth it.

We can’t say that winning the cup can mean anything for the league because the following games are completely different. For example, we played against Panathinaikos seven times and no two games were the same. Every day is special, just like every game. And derbies – no matter how similar they are, even if the score is the same – are different games and they always have a different approach to us.”

Raptis celebrates with Kokkinakis

When asked about the greatly improved performance of his team and the fighting spirit he showed in the cup games, he emphasized: “PAOK will never be willing to let go of anything, whether it’s a match or all the balls. We didn’t just see that in the last cup final. This also applies from Monday when training starts again. That’s the character of ours teams.

I liked my team. I liked their teamwork. I think it’s great that we’re all helping to achieve something like what we’ve now achieved by winning the cup. It was something unique, thank them very much and I want to continue with this face in the following games.

Our teamwork brought the result

The team’s Alexandros barely accepted the title of MVP of the finals and a “maybe” greeted his suggestion, although by all appearances his performance was spacey and almost infallible (he only had one mistake).

I don’t want to say that I’m the Final Four MVP. Let’s say I’m the MVP of the finals, maybe… For example, in the previous game our top player was Dan Dries, tomorrow it will be someone else. Sometimes it’s our coach that makes the difference. I want to congratulate my team because the whole PAOK team acted as MVP. Our teamwork brought the result. You don’t get the Most Valuable Player title anyway unless you have very good teammates to help you.

I also heard a very nice comment saying that volleyball is one of the fairest sports because the best almost always wins and I’m glad we were the best in this final and we want to repeat it. We know it’s not easy. The motto of the team is that the operation starts from Monday to Saturday and we don’t drop a ball.

That’s volleyball and that’s how we will continue to play. There is passion, we want to win. Otherwise we wouldn’t play.

Such titles help psychology, agree. Of course, PAOK has shown that it can handle both wins and losses and we will continue like this“.

Source: sport 24

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Raptis and Milenkoski supporters gave the title to PAOK




Kostas Holidis writes about the great performance of Alexandros Raptis, who however had the valuable help of his teammates to lead PAOK to the title against Olympiakos.

PAOK lifted their fifth trophy in their history on Saturday night after beating Olympiakos 3-1 in an impressive final.

However, Dikefalos took that particular trophy, and whoever wins it later in the year, well before that. When Josko Milenkoski was ready to leave, the team management decided to support him and the result justifies it.

Since then, PAOK have steadily improved and confirmed in Kalamata that they are the best team in Greece this season.

The Tailor’s Rhapsody

We couldn’t start the finale’s commentary from anything other than MVP. Last summer, Alexandros Raptis left Panathinaikos for PAOK.

The reason; To find a stable and important role in a team that is aiming for the title. At the age of 23, Alexandros Raptis performed like a dream.

He held the slot, attacked with 76% spatiality (25/33 attacks with just one miss) and three aces. What more could Milenkoski ask of his winger, who stopped at 28 points.

The team turned the tables

As the MVP, Alexandros Raptis said in his statements, the whole team had to do a lot of work for him to make this appearance.

In particular, Kokkinakis and Giorna swept the back zone, Walsh did an excellent job splitting the game after the first set, Skrentau and Voulkidis helped with blocking and attacking, while Den Dries’ contribution was also important.

The stats might say that the Belgian had 30% attacking with 12/40, but he helped with his serves as well as his blocks (4).

Everyone worked to ensure PAOK could turn the tide of the first set and claim the title.

The decisive point of the final

The final was undoubtedly decided in the second half of the third set. Olympiacos entered first 17-13, but the rest belonged entirely to PAOK.

Dikephalos managed to run away 12-4 at this point, with Dan Dries and Rapti doing an excellent job on offense. A pressing serve and an excellent block defense led PAOK to surprise.

PAOK essentially confirmed the image it had shown us in the game series against Panathinaikos, playing excellently and having many protagonists.

Shorted from Travica, low flying from Hidalgo

Now we come to the defeated Olympiakos. Giuliani’s players traveled to Kalamata in high spirits, just as they did after qualifying against Panathinaikos in the Challenge Cup semifinals.

However, in the final against PAOK, only in the first set did they show the image we’ve been accustomed to seeing them for the last month or so. In the third shot on goal, they simply took advantage of Dikefalos’ many mistakes, but also their excellent block.

But what was the big problem of Olympiacos? The main thing was that it clouded Travis’ mind. The big passer saw that Stern was having a good day (Slovene had 17/37 attacks) and attacked him.

In fact, he overwhelmed him as he took more balls than Pagenk (11), Koumentakis (15) and Linardos (7) combined. At the same time, Hidalgo appeared to be fully read by the PAOK block, breaking many balls in his attacks, with the Cuban counting disappointing 8/26 attacks.

Both titles the next day

The Cup Final Four concluded as PAOK received a huge psychological injection for the sequel. Dikefalos and Olympiacos are likely to be the couple in the championship final.

Both lead 2-0 each against Panathinaikos and Milos, so they only need one win to clinch the title, with Olympiakos having the home field advantage.

At the same time, we must not forget that the Red-Whites also have the League Cup final with Panathinaikos, which may have less prestige, but especially when the Greens are no longer fighting for the championship, they will want it more.

Anyway, for about 45 more days we will watch great duels in men’s and women’s volleyball.

Source: sport 24

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Kokkinakis: ‘We had a hard time, we got a big trophy’




Kokkinakis, in his testimony after PAOK won the cup, referred to the difficulties his team had endured during the season.

PAOK defeated Olympiakos 3-1 to win the Greek Cup. This is the seventh trophy in the institution for Kokkinakis, who spoke about Dikephalos’ troubles this year.

The statements of Kokkinakis:

“It’s the seventh trophy for me. I’m proud and happy for my team. We had a difficult time, we didn’t play the volleyball we wanted, we didn’t give up.

We got a big trophy, well deserved. We played hard as a team. That is the most pleasant, the most touching. That’s what all athletes live for. I’m glad God deserved that I won seven trophies. Congratulations to Olympiakos for the European Championship. He needs it, he wants it.

We have achieved something big with PAOK. We don’t have time to party, that’s professionalism. The team didn’t start well. You know how it is in Greece. Everyone is in a hurry. We believed in our abilities. But we have it, so I’ll remember it.”

Source: sport 24

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