Super Lega 2022 - News


Having Ishikawa improve from his seven-point production from Thursday would be one of the keys for Milano on match two

Itas Trentino and Cucine Lube Civitanova did their homework on the opening leg of the SuperLega Credem Banca semifinals on Thursday, taking advantage of the support of their fans to start their series ahead, but will now have to maintain the same level of play on the road on Sunday.

The Italian League semifinals continue at 18:00 local time (16:00 UTC), now with Allianz Milano and Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza at home, hosting Lube and Trentino respectively, and looking to level the playing field on their best-of-five series.

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Milano entered the semifinals with no shortage of confidence after eliminating reigning world champions Sir Safety Perugia in the quarterfinals, but they couldn’t handle defending champions Lube in leg one, falling in three sets and seeing themselves at disadvantage early on.

Head coach Roberto Piazza believes his team will need to be better in basically every aspect of the game in order to get a win in front of its home fans on Sunday.

“We’re playing a very good team and our approach needs to be different,” he explained. “Blocking aside, Lube were better than us on every fundamental in the first match, so we know we need to do much better in general for the second match.”

Lube, on the other hand, continue on a roll heading into this weekend’s match. The defending champions followed the Herculean task of turning their quarterfinals series against WithU Verona around after being down 2-0 with a strong victory over Milano on Thursday and are probably in their best form in the entire season.

The team wants to carry the good momentum into the second match of the series and to do that, they believe, they need to act as if nothing had changed.

“Winning the first match was an important first step, but we need to keep our feet on the ground,” middle blocker Simone Anzani commented. “Milano showed in their quarterfinal series against Perugia that they have excellent technical skills and are very competitive. We need to enter the second match with the same mindset as if we were trailing the series.”


A difference-maker against Modena, Leal was limited to nine points on Thursday

Piacenza entered the semifinals in the same situation as Lube after they came from behind to eliminate Valsa Group Modena 3-2 in their dramatic quarterfinal series. A sweep on the road to Trentino, which was the first to their rivals in four matches this series, raised a yellow flag.

The key to returning to their excellent form, they think, is getting the sense of urgency they had against Modena back this weekend.

“It was only the first match,” coach Massimo Botti said after Thursday’s setback. “We’ll be back at home on Sunday and we expect to do better. The series is open, so we’ll have to be brave and bring the right mentality to the court. I felt that on the first match, we didn’t have the ‘killer instinct’ that we showed against Modena.”

For Trentino, the feeling is that the team made great use of the 11-day period between the end of its quarterfinal series against Vero Volley Monza and the first duel with Piacenza, displaying good progress to top the Coppa Italia champions for the first time in the season.

The goal of the 2022 FIVB Men’s Club World Championship silver medallists for the second match of the series is to continue improving.

“Piacenza are one of the strongest teams in the league, but we were looking for revenge for our Coppa Italia loss,” outside hitter Daniele Lavia remarked. “Winning game one gives us more tranquility as we go on the road on Sunday, but we’ve seen in this season’s playoffs that having a lead means nothing. We still want to improve, but it was a good start.”