Alexandros Raptis on Sportish: "Everyone at PAOK worked like an MVP" - Sportish
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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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PAOK men’s volleyball: Significant reinforcement with Van Garderen




PAOK has reached an agreement with international Dutch winger Maarten van Garderen, who has been playing in the top European leagues for several years.

The PAOK men’s volleyball team has found Maarten van Garderen, the player who will form the main winger duo with Rousseau.

The Netherlands international arrives in our country with a full CV, having played in Europe’s top leagues for the past 12 years.

Last year, the 33-year-old (2m tall) played in Siena and scored 203 points with a shot rate of 41.8%. He’s an absolute tight end and a little behind on the receiving end (not that he’s unreliable).

After this move, PAOK completed the foreign winger duo and now the burden is on the foreign passer.

Announcement by PAOK: “PAOK and the Men’s Volleyball Division announce the start of a collaboration with athlete Maarten Van Harderen for the 2023-2024 season.

Maarten Van Harderen was born on January 24th, 1990 in the Netherlands. He plays as a winger and is 200 cm tall.

He started his professional career in the 2006/07 season with Dutch club Langhenkel Doetinchem, where he stayed for five seasons, won a Dutch championship and made his first European appearances when he took part in the CEV Challenge Cup.

In the 2012-13 season he played for Caffè Aiello Corigliano in Italy, in the following season (2013-14) in France at Beauvais Oise UC.

In the 2014-15 season, he took the first big step of his career, playing in Germany for the mighty VfB Friedrichshafen, with whom he won the “Double” while also reaching the “8” of the CEV Champions League.

He played in Italy again in the 2015–16 season, this time for CMC Romagna, while the following year (2016–17) he stayed in Serie A to play for Bunge Ravenna.

In the 2017/18 season he played for Azimut Modena from Italy and in the following season (2018/19) for Itas Trentino, with whom he won the Club World Cup.

In the 2020/21 season, he played outside of Italy for Turkey’s Ziraat Bankası Ankara, with whom he won the championship.

The following year (2021-22) he returned to Italy for Leo Shoes PerkinElmer Modena, with which he reached the “8” of the CEV Cup. Last season he stayed in the Italian league for Emma Villas Aubay Siena and remained at a high level.

He is an international player of the Netherlands national team whose milestone was conquering the European Golden League in 2012.

He is an athlete with many performances at the highest level, who has played in top-class leagues as well as in the highest cross-club competition, the CEV Champions League.”

Source: sport 24

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Men’s Olympic Volleyball: Giuliani’s “farewell” to the red-whites




With his post on social media, curated by Alberto Giuliani, he said goodbye to Olympiakos and thanked him for his collaboration.

Alberto Giuliani said goodbye to Olympiacos. The Italy coach is set to continue his career in Bulgaria and said goodbye to the red-white squad via social media.

“It’s been a special year for me, not only because of the great results we’ve achieved together, but mostly because I’ve had the opportunity to meet wonderful and very special people.” I thank the whole Olympiakos club, the staff, the fans and all the players. Good bye” he wrote characteristically.

Source: sport 24

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Kosmas will wear the AEK shirt for the third time




Sofia Kosmas will wear the AEK shirt for the third time in her career. The 29-year-old signed a one-year contract with Union and will strengthen the volleyball team, where she also played in the 2015/16 season, but also in the 2021/22 season

Sofia Kosmas will wear the AEK shirt for the third time in her career. The 29-year-old has signed a one-year contract with Union and will strengthen the volleyball team, where she also played in the 2015/16 season, but also in the 2021/22 season.

The international winger started her career with Markopoulos (2007-2009), then played for Keratea (2009-10) and returned to Markopoulos for a season (2010-11). She played for Olympiakos in the four years 2011–2015 while after her first spell at AEK (2015–2016) she moved to Heraklis Kifissias, followed by Panathinaikos (2018–2020).

In 2021 he traveled to Switzerland on behalf of Kady Schaffhausen, while returning to AEK in the summer of the same year. Last season he played again for Olympiakos. He has won three leagues and four Greek Cups and one Swiss Cup.

“The only thing that is certain is that there is a mutual sense of respect and appreciation between AEK and its employees. And that definitely made me want to return without a second thought. For me it is the fact that the management and the employees.” “Always supporting the team, especially in difficult moments, is a very important reason to want to give something back and to try together with my teammates to make them happy “, Kosmas explained and added:

“It is certain that AEK is on the right track. Consistent management, a stadium always packed with fans, remarkable athletes, a remarkable and ambitious coach. All of these are reasons that brought me here. With the main wish for us.” “Everyone is healthy, I am very optimistic for a special season. The beginning was made with the cup victory. In my opinion, it is completely normal that we now want even greater successes.”

Source: sport 24

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