VNL: Klemen Cebulj stars as Slovenia fends off China | Inquirer Sports

VNL: Klemen Cebulj stars as Slovenia fends off China

/ 09:55 PM July 06, 2023

Slovenia's Klemen Čebulj.

FILE– Slovenia’s Klemen Čebulj. MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Klemen Cebulj unleashed 21 points as Slovenia averted late game disaster against China with a 25-21, 25-20, 24-26, 25-23 conquest in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Week 3 on Thursday evening at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Cebulj, who had a 20-point effort in their loss to Poland on Tuesday, delivered a solid single block in the fourth set to push Slovenia at match point before Jan Kozamernik drilled the game-winning ace to seal their win in the crucial Manila Leg.

Ziga Stern also stepped up with 17 points, while Kozamernik and Tine Urnaut had 13 points each for Slovenia, which improved to 7-3 to tie Brazil and Italy at third to fifth place ahead of the final round of the VNL in Poland on July 19 to 24.


After taking control of the first two sets, the Slovenians blew a 24-22 match point advantage in the third set as China fired four answered points to extend the match.

Slovenia erased a 15-10 deficit in the fourth to frustrate China and book its first win in this year’s Manila Leg.

Jingyin Zhang led the Chinese with 16 points only to absorb their second straight loss in the Philippines after a five-set stand against unbeaten Japan in Tuesday’s opener.

China dropped to 2-8 at 14th place.

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