Super Lega 2022 - News

Milano 2104

If they beat Lube again, Milano will make it to the SuperLega Finals for the first time

The semifinals of the SuperLega Credem Banca are set to have another exciting pair of duels on Saturday, when the fourth leg of the two best-of-five series will be played. Currently leading their series 2-1, Allianz Milano and Itas Trentino could punch their tickets to the Italian League Finals if they prevail over defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova and Coppa Italia winners Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza for a third time.

Milano and Lube will be the first to get on the court on Saturday, with their duel set to begin at 18:00 local time (16:00 UTC), in Milan. Later, at 20:30 local time (18:30 UTC), Trentino will play on the road against Piacenza.

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Winning Saturday’s match against Lube would propel Milano to make history as it would be the first appearance of the club in the SuperLega Finals since they joined the Italian elite in 2014-2015.

Eight matches and two rounds into the playoffs, Milano find themselves in an unprecedented position after they topped Lube on the road last Thursday. The team, which overcame reigning world champions Sir Safety Perugia 3-2 in the quarterfinals and dropped the first match against Lube in the semis, is leading a postseason series for the first time in the season.

“We had never been in this position before, so we have to acknowledge that, but at the same time, we can’t think that because we’ll be playing at home we’ll win,” coach Roberto Piazza reflected. “We beat Lube and Perugia on the road, yes, but Lube also did it against WithU Verona. We need to focus on the things we do well and play with great respect to Lube, who are outstanding opponents.”

The reigning Italian champions, on the other hand, have been in this exact same position not long ago, as they trailed Verona 2-0 in their quarterfinal series before turning things around and advancing to the semifinals. The home upset to Milano, however, puts a lot of pressure on the team as they know there’s no more room for mistakes against their opponents.

“There’s still a lot to fight for and we can’t lose faith or patience,” coach Gianlorenzo Blengini commented. “Milano are very good at playing defence and covering. Against them, we need to be brave, have good ideas and display our quality. We can’t get anxious because they won’t, they will keep going until they find the best solution to each play.”

Trentino 2104

Trentino have two more shots at ending their series with Piacenza

Trentino, who are looking to return to the SuperLega Finals for the first time since 2016-2017, still hold control of their series against Piacenza, but the 2022 FIVB Men’s Club World Championship had a big wake-up call on Thursday, falling in straight sets at home and will now need another road victory to avoid seeing the series going to five matches.

“I think we played well in two sets, but they won the decisive points at the end,” outside hitter Donovan Džavoronok said about Thursday's encounter. “We still need only one more win to advance and we want to get it as quickly as possible. We’ll prepare in the best way we can and hopefully we can do it on Saturday.”

For Piacenza, Thursday’s road win not only kept them alive in the series, but also gave the team another home match and the possibility of counting on the support of their fans as they try to force match five and come from behind and win the series 3-2, just like they did against Valsa Group Modena in the quarterfinals.

“To beat Trentino, we’ll need everyone in our team,” outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli remarked. “Each of us needs to perform our roles really well, just like we did on Thursday. Our serving, blocking and defence were a big part of our win and we need to use that as a weapon again.”