Superlega 2023 - News.

Yuki Ishikawa in attack (source:

Yuki Ishikawa in attack

Allianz Milan wrote history this Italian SuperLega Credem Banca season by snatching the club’s first-ever podium in the history of the competition and earning the right to compete in the CEV Champions League for the first time. In front of over 3,500 fans at the Allianz Cloud on Saturday evening, Japanese outside hitter Yuki Ishikawa showed another excellent performance on the court and led the home team to victory over Itas Trentino Trento in the match and in the third place series. Meanwhile, in his last game for the club, Cuban outside Marlon Yant fired up Cucine Lube Civitanova on the way to the fifth place in the final standings and a spot in another continental tournament, the CEV Challenge Cup, with an away win over Rana Verona in the deciding match.

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A brilliant Yuki Ishikawa earned the MVP award in Allianz’s 3-1 (25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 25-21) home win over Trentino, with which they closed the best-of-five bronze medal playoff after four matches. The Japanese star produced two aces on top of the 26 points he spiked at a 70% success rate in attack to come up with a match-high total of 28 points, including the match winner in the fourth set. Young Belgian opposite Ferre Reggers added another 18 points towards Allianz’s win, while Cuban outside Osniel Mergarejo finished with 11 points.

Trentino, who may win this season’s Champions League final next weekend, will have to skip the next edition of Europe’s most prestigious club competition and settle for participating in the next best, the CEV Cup. After an excellent regular season and successful quarterfinal playoffs in the SuperLega, they stumbled in the semifinals and now in the playoff for the bronze to finish in fourth place. In Saturday’s game, Trentino were led by outside Alessandro Michieletto with 19 points, including three aces and a kill block, Luxembourgish opposite Kamil Rychlicki with 14 points and outside Giulio Magalini with 12.

“After game one, we spoke to each other for a long time and we realized that we still had a lot of fuel to move forward. Tonight this extraordinary audience gave us the push and our work definitely paid off,” commented Allianz’s head coach Roberto Piazza after the match. “Maybe we could have done something better in the regular season, but our playoffs really deserve to be remembered. We earned participation in the Champions League and I'm really happy for the guys, whom I have to thank, those who will be there next year and those who will leave. Some will still play in the Champions League, others won't, but everyone really gave their all.”

“It's a shame about the epilogue of these playoffs, but now there are two ways to interpret what happened and we need to follow both,” said Trentino’s setter Riccardo Sbertoli. “The first is related to the disappointment we feel for how our championship ended and it is a feeling that we are already experiencing now, while the second is to start again from what we did immediately after game three, trying to build something tangible. Tonight, in my opinion, we succeeded in remaining attached to the game in all situations. It's difficult to accept our current limitations, but it's the only thing we have to do to live the next week to the fullest and achieve a dream. One has already eluded us, but the second is still achievable.”

Milano vs. Trentino | Highlights | Superlega | Playoff 3 Posto

Lube crowned a shaky season with a fifth-place finish after a 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-22) away victory over Rana Verona in Saturday’s decider for Italy’s last remaining vacancy in next season’s European club competitions. Despite an injury during the fourth set, Marlon Yant stayed on the court and finished the match off with a winning ace, bringing his game total to an impressive six direct serving points and finishing with a match-high 24 points to claim the MVP nomination. Turkish opposite Adis Lagumdzija added another 21 points, including three blocks. Outside Mattia Bottolo finished with 13 points, while French middle blocker Barthelemy Chinenyeze also reached the double digits with 10 points. Malian outside Noumory Keita with 19 points, Iranian opposite Amin Esmaeilnezhad with 18, and Czech outside Donovan Dzavoronok with 12, were Verona’s leading scorers in the match.

“It's definitely not the result we wanted from this season, but after the elimination in the quarterfinals, this fifth place was the best we could achieve and I'm happy to have achieved an objective, which will still allow Cucine Lube to play in Europe again next season. For me, it was my last game with this shirt. I'm very sorry, because at Lube I lived four seasons, in which I had a great time and I really hope to be able to return one day.”

Verona vs. Civitanova | Highlights | Superlega | Playoff 5 Posto

The SuperLega season may or may not come to end on Sunday, when Mint Vero Volley Monza host Sir Susa Vim Perugia for game four of the best-of-five championship series, with Sir leading 2-1 in wins.

SuperLega Credem Banca 2023-2024 championship playoff – leg 4:
Apr 28, 18:00 local (16:00 UTC): Mint Vero Volley Monza v Sir Susa Vim Perugia