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ARIS Salonica - Orestiada "Diana" 3-0

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The end of a monopoly era...

ARIS Salonica has been announced champion for the first time in its history by winning Orestiada in the third - and final - match of the series and set an end to the Olympiakos & Panathinaikos monopoly who had taken all the titles since the beggining of the A' national league.
Ljubomir Ganev
celebrating for winning the championship
photo 19/04/97
The third final game was not the one that most of volley friends would expect, as ARIS did NOT gave any chances to the opponents for even making the match a derby, by playing excellently all over the game. In the two first sets, Kostas Haritonidis' players took courage from the cheers of the bursting fans, they played freely and made very easily the score 2-0 (15-8, 15-9). In the third set, which had a celebration tone for ARIS, Orestiada was almost...absent from the court and lost without special efforts by 6-15. Ljubomir Ganev's ace summed up the triumph, as the Bulgarian super-star gave the match point to the champions.

The game | Reportage | Statistics | All-time volley champs

ARIS coach, Kostas Haritonidis, full of excitement for the great success, was little bit over-reacting : "This championship was a dream of ...thousand years. For a long time we fought under conditions that definitely weren't the best. Today Salonica is celebrating along to those crazy ARIS fans !"...

The super-star, Ljubomir Ganev, when ended the game with a personal ace-point, said to the assistant coach of the team (who always tired him in practice!) : "I took the title and without training !"... After that, he said that Salonica was thirsty for this title : "I'm very happy. I dedicate this title to Thessaloniki and our ARIS fans. This championship title should stay in Salonica".

From the losers' side, no one was eager to talk. Orestiada's coach, Zoran Gaets was dissapointed: "The team didn't role from the start. In such cases, things are pretty difficult. The fact that we moved a lot and made long trips didn't help".

And the Thracian team's leader, Nikos Samaras, who was so close to winning the title for the first time in his career, was undecided for staying in the team : "If we hadn't made some mistakes withing the regular season, we would have managed to gain the title. I don't know if I will play for Orestiada next year".

The game | Reportage | Statistics | All-time volley champs

ARIS Salonica 3-0Orestiada "Diana"

"(15-8, 15-9, 15-6) "


K. Haritonidis
Z. Gaets

The game | Reportage | Statistics | All-time volley champs

1936 Athens Panellinios
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