Lube

It will be Wilfredo Leon against Robertlandy Simon in the SuperLega Credem Banca championship playoff final! The two titans will clash for the Italian championship trophy after leading their stellar teams, Sir Safety Conad Perugia and Cucine Lube Civitanova, respectively, to victories in Wednesday’s deciding semifinal series matches.

The best-of-five final playoff starts on Sunday, May 1, at 18:00 local time in Perugia. Leon, Matthew Anderson, Simone Giannelli, Sebastian Sole, Massimo Colaci and the rest of Perugia’s fabulous squad will take on Lube’s Simon, Luciano De Cecco, Ricardo Lucarelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Simone Anzani, Fabio Balaso and their teammates in a huge battle, and you can watch it all LIVE on Volleyball TV.

Simon played a perfect match against Itas Trentino on Wednesday. The 2.08m-tall Cuban middle blocker led Lube’s scorers on the way to a hard-fought 3-2 (27-29, 25-21, 21-25, 25-15, 15-11) home victory, which completed the team’s amazing comeback from the heavy defeats they suffered in the first two games of the semis. Simon’s 20-point tally included four aces and five kill blocks, he registered a 73% success rate in attack, and the match statistics even show 100% in reception. He also delivered the match winner directly from the serving line.

Three more of his teammates hit double digits in scoring. Brazilian star Lucarelli hammered 18 points, including two aces. Young Cuban outside Marlon Yant produced 16 (1 ace, 3 blocks), while Puerto Rican opposite Gabi Garcia, who was among Lube’s starters only for the last two sets, finished with 12 (1 ace, 1 block). The most credit for Lube’s efficient offence (57% overall success rate) went to Argentinean setter De Cecco, who also scored in both of his spiking attempts and added an ace and a kill block to his tally, earning the MVP award.

Top Plays: Lube v Trentino

Trentino, on the other side of the net, put up a great fight, with Bulgarian star outside Matey Kaziyski delivering the match high of 22 points, while Serbian middle blocker Srecko Lisinac shone with a 72% success rate in attack and six stuffs towards a 19-point tally.

“This is the beauty of volleyball! We suffered a lot, losing the first two games, but we managed to turn the series in our favour and we are in the final! Let’s enjoy this moment now, but we have to try to win again against a complete team like Perugia... It will be a good final!” Robertlandy Simon, middle blocker of Cucine Lube Civitanova

In the other semifinal series, Leon hammered out another six aces towards Perugia’s 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 27-25, 25-15) home victory over Leo Shoes PerkinElmer Modena, opening the team’s way to the crown after three wins to two, and giving the Cuban-born Polish international the opportunity to add even more serving points to his already impressive season tally of 62, or 11 clear at the top of the best servers individual ranking.

Leon’s game total of 19 points was second only to the match high of 21 produced by his American teammate Anderson, MVP of the encounter, who aced once and spiked 20 points at a success rate of 74%. Luxembourgish opposite Kamil Rychlicki also tallied 19 points, including an ace and three blocks.

Top Scorers: Matthew Anderson, Wilfredo Leon

Dutch opposite Nimir Abdel-Aziz was Modena’s leading scorer on 18 points (3 aces, 1 block), followed by French standout Earvin Ngapeth on 15 and middle blocker Dragan Stankovic on 11.

“Our fantastic fans deserve this final!” Stefano Mengozzi, middle blocker of Sir Safety Conad Perugia

Top Plays: Perugia v Modena

It will be the fourth back-to-back and fifth overall final between Perugia and Lube. Perugia won only one of the previous final encounters, in 2018. They downed Lube in both regular season encounters, 3-1 away in December and 3-0 at home in March. As regular season winners, they will have the home court advantage in Sunday’s first game. The second match will be played in Civitanova Marche on Wednesday, May 4. The championship series will return to Perugia for game three on May 8. If a fourth match is needed, it will take place on Lube’s home ground on May 11. Whether Perugia, who claimed the national cup earlier this year, will be able celebrate with a golden double or Lube will manage to defend their title of the previous two completed seasons will be known on May 15 at the latest.

Meanwhile, the race for fifth place also continues with the fourth leg matches scheduled on Saturday, April 30. On Wednesday, Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza continued their perfect run and mastered a third straight-set victory in a row, 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-23) over Vero Volley Monza at home. Top Volley Cisterna took over the second place in the table from Monza after a 3-0 (25-15, 31-29, 25-22) shutout of winless Gioiella Prisma Taranto, improving to a 2-1 win-loss record. Allianz Milano claimed their first victory, 3-1 (28-26, 22-25, 25-16, 27-25) at Verona Volley, putting both teams at 1-2.

Taranto vs. Milano, Monza vs. Cisterna and Piacenza vs. Verona are the fixtures on Saturday’s programme.

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