Super Lega 2022 - News

Lube 2204

With 26 points, Yant led Lube to a dramatic victory over Milano

The two semifinal series of the SuperLega Credem Banca will both come down to a fifth and decisive match after Cucine Lube Civitanova and Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza triumphed in the fourth leg of their duels with Allianz Milano and Itas Trentino, respectively, on Saturday.

With both series tied at 2-2, Lube and Trentino will be at home for the fifth and decisive encounters, which will both take place on Tuesday, April 25, at 18:00 local time (16:00 UTC).

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Defending champions Lube were just one set away from seeing their hopes of winning back-to-back Italian League titles come to an end, but the team coached by Gianlorenzo Blengini fought until the end, won three consecutive sets and pulled off a dramatic 3-2 (23-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-7) victory in front of more than 5,000 Milano supporters.

Outside hitter Marlon Yant was a key player in Lube’s comeback, as the 21-year-old Cuban tallied a match-high 26 points, with 21 kills, three aces and two blocks. Fellow outside hitter Aleksandar Nikolov, who added 18 points (16 kills, one ace, one block), and star opposite Ivan Zaytsev, who contributed 17 (16 kills, one block), also delivered strong performances in the most important match of the season so far.

“We didn’t give up, we fought until the end and we’re very happy with our reaction,” Yant commented. “When we were down 0-2, we had nothing to lose and that’s when we managed to play at our best. I can’t wait to play match five in front of our home fans.”

Milano’s Japanese star outside hitter Yuki Ishikawa battled Yant in a strong way and left court with 23 points after he registered 15 kills, impressive six aces and two blocks. Fellow outside hitter Osniel Melgarejo also had a good night as the Cuban produced 19 points (18 kills, one ace).

“We started the match very well, but I think that in the third set perhaps we thought too much about winning or losing and didn’t play our game,” Ishikawa reflected. “We need to always think about ourselves and focus on doing what was agreed with the coaches.”

Piacenza 2204

Piacenza were very good at containing Trentino's main offensive players

Coppa Italia winners Piacenza, who were at home against Trentino, had a smoother match, dominating the 2022 FIVB Men’s Club World Championship silver medallists from start to finish to secure a straight-set (25-21, 25-23, 25-23) victory that tied the series.

Brazilian outside hitter Yoandy Leal led the home team, tallying a match-high 17 points (14 kills, one ace, two blocks). Star middle blocker Robertlandy Simon also had a great display, producing 13 points with ten kills and three blocks.

“It was a great victory, but the series is far from over,” Simon remarked. “We played really well, but I think we also did a very good job of always believing, even when things weren’t going well and we were down. We are even again and now the last and most important step waits for us.”

With outside hitter Daniele Lavia limited to three points, Bulgarian opposite Matey Kaziyski and star outside hitter Alessandro Michieletto led Trentino’s offense with 13 points apiece.

“I feel like we had problems at the end of each of the three sets,” Trentino’s head coach Angelo Lorenzetti commented. “We obviously have to consider the strength of our opponents, but we also need to look at ourselves and realize that we should have done better at the end of sets than we did tonight.”