The opening match of the tournament will have Türkiye’s Halkbank Spor Kulübü facing Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds in a Pool B duel involving two teams that will be appearing in the tournament for the first time – the encounter will start at 17:00 local time (12:30 GMT).
Pushed by French star outside hitter Earvin Ngapeth and high-scoring Dutch opposite Nimir Abdel-Aziz, Halkbank are the undefeated leaders of the Turkish League with ten wins and also triumphed in their two CEV Champions League matches.
“Our pool opponents are both very strong and we are aware of the challenges we’re going to face,” Ngapeth commented. “We respect our opponents, but our goal is to get two wins and we are confident we’ll be able to overcome these obstacles. We have the power and the quality to do it.”