Superlega 2023 - News.

Mattia Bottolo in reception (source:

Mattia Bottolo in reception

Rana Verona will host Cucine Lube Civitanova in Saturday’s Italian SuperLega Credem Banca fifth place final with a spot in Europe’s CEV Challenge Cup tournament next season at stake. They disposed of Valsa Group Modena and Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza, respectively, in Monday’s semifinal playoffs.

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Outside hitter Mattia Bottolo, a 2022 world champion with Italy, was the big hero in Lube’s thrilling 3-2 (25-18, 26-24, 21-25, 25-27, 15-12) win in Piacenza. Taking full advantage of a rare opportunity to be among the starters (replacing injured Aleksandar Nikolov), Bottolo put on a brilliant performance and led his team to victory with a match-high 25 points. He put away three aces, raised four kill blocks, spiked 18 points at a 56% success rate and handled the majority of the opponent serves, registering 64% good and 44% perfect reception, to earn the MVP award. Turkish opposite Adis Lagumdzija was also on fire with 23 points, including three aces and three blocks. French middle blocker Barthelemy Chinenyeze and Cuban outside Marlon Yant added 13 points apiece towards Lube’s success.

Brazilian outsides Yoandy Leal (who was not among the starters in the first set) and Ricardo Lucarelli led Gas Sales with 24 and 15 points, respectively, followed by middles Robertlandy Simon of Cuba with 12 and Fabio Ricci with 10.

“It was a great match from both teams. We were good at sprinting, and they were good at getting back into the game taking advantage of our decline,” Lube’s libero Fabio Balaso commented. “It's a shame about the fourth set. We wanted to win it with a comeback after having closed the gap. But we made up for it in the tie-breaker. Now the final at Verona awaits us. We challenge a great team in its best moment. It will be another challenging and important game. We will go there with the right mind to win and take home the fifth place.”

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

In the other fifth place semifinal, Verona celebrated a 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19) home win over Modena. Malian outside Noumory Keita led the way with 20 points, including two aces and a block, to claim the MVP award. Iranian opposite Amin Esmaeilnezhad finished with 18 points. Czech outside Donovan Dzavoronok chipped in another 17. Modena’s Belarusian outside Uladzislau Davyskiba produced a match-high 23 points. His Russian teammate, opposite Maksim Sapozhkov, added another 19.

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

Saturday’s final at the Pala AGSM AIM in Verona is set to start at 18:00 local time (16:00 UTC).

SuperLega Credem Banca 2023-2024 championship playoff – 3rd leg:
Apr 25, 18:00 local (16:00 UTC): Sir Susa Vim Perugia v Mint Vero Volley Monza

SuperLega Credem Banca 2023-2024 third place playoff – 3rd leg:
Apr 24, 20:30 local (18:30 UTC): Itas Trentino Trento v Allianz Milan

SuperLega Credem Banca 2023-2024 fifth place playoffs – final:
Apr 27, 18:00 local (16:00 UTC): Rana Verona v Cucine Lube Civitanova