Champions League: With Simón’s 7 aces, Lube secure quarterfinal spot by beating Trentino. Česke Budejovice destroys Fenerbahce, Perugia ok
Cucine Lube Civitanova made the road of compatriots Itas Trentino to the quarterfinals of the 2020 CEV Volleyball Champions League complicated after beating them in the penultimate round of the pool stage.
The two italian team faced for the 2nd time in Pool A with the same outcome. The defending champions won 3 points that secured them the top spot in the pool and a berth in the quarterfinals. Trentino missed a huge opportunity to take the 2nd set and reach a 2-0 lead: they dropped +6 and failed to convert 2 set points.
Luxembourgian Kamil Rychlicki was the top scorer for the winners with 24 points, while Cuban Robertlandy Simón served as many as 7 aces! Serbian Uroš Kovačević scored 19 points for Trentino.
This match was a general rehearsal for the semifinal of the Italian Cup scheduled in 9 days. Despite a defeat, Trentino remained in the top 3 best runners-up across all pools that will get a ticket for the Playoff but will have to beat the Czech side Jihostroj České Budějovice in the last round to stay there. Lube continued their winning streak in the Champions League (16 consecutive victories, didn’t since from the final of the 2018 edition).
Angelo Lorenzetti, Trentino’s head coach: “We played a game with two faces; very well at the beginning then we got worse in the second part, especially facing third and fourth sets with a wrong mentality.”
Osmany Juantorena, Lube’s outside hitter: “We never give up and we proved it tonight as well, at the most difficult time of our game. We restarted and won 3-1, taking first place in the pool stage early. We are very happy.”
On the other match in Pool A, in a tight, yet straight-sets victory, Českè Budejovice clinched their second win against Fenerbahçe, after already beating them in December in Turkey. Despite his team’s defeat, Salvador Hidalgo Oliva was the top scorer of the match with 19 points. As for the winners, if this victory was without a doubt a satisfaction, it will however be almost impossible for them to qualify given the two other team in the pool, Trentino and Civitanova, who leading the standings.
Salvador Hidalgo Oliva, Fenerbahçe’s spiker: “We came here to do our best. It’s a disappointing story for us, we tried to go for everything today, but it was not possible. They played very well today. This is life, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and we will try to get the best from this loss on getting our power back and to win back on Sunday.”
Marek Šotola, VK Jihostroj’s opposite: “I think that we started the match with the feeling that we have already performed well in Instanbul and because of that we felt that we could take them even though we did not let it show. Naturally, we knew that Fenerbahce was the favorite of the game and we are thrilled that we won.”
Another team reached 15 points in five matches in quest for perfection, after Zaksa and Lube, Perugia. For the final match of this leg, Benfica showed solid resistance to the Italians, even claiming the third set. However, also Perugia is still undefeated. Once again, the Polish outside hitter Leon was the top scorer scoring 21 points including 3 winning blocks. With only one victory, qualification is out of the question for the team from Portugal…
Wilfredo Leon, Perugia’s outside hitter: “The game was very good. In my opinion all the spectators received a high-level volleyball display. Benfica made a very good game. We were in first place but today we demonstrated that we could play, and we are a top-level team. I’m very happy with the fans and the game we did.”
Marcel Matz, Benfica’s head coach: “First, this experience in the Champions League is very positive for us. The teams are very strong. Before I start talking about the game, it’s important to say that this is very important to put our team on a new level. That being said, I’m not happy with the result. I think we got a good commitment, we were able to play them toe to toe, we fought for every point, suffered a little in the middle of the fourth set but managed to finish high.”
2020 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Round 5
• Itas TRENTINO – Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA 1-3 (26:24, 29:31, 17:25, 22:25)
• Jihostroj CESKE BUDEJOVICE – Fenerbahçe HDI Sigorta ISTANBUL 3-0 (25:23, 25:23, 25:21)
• Fakel NOVY URENGOY – Kuzbass KEMEROVO 3-0 (25:21, 25:16, 25:20)
• ACH Volley LJUBLJANA – BERLIN Recycling Volleys 2-3 (25:22, 25:19, 16:25, 22:25, 12:15
• Benfica LISBOA – Sir Sicoma Monini PERUGIA 1-3 (24:26, 21:25, 25:22, 17:25)
• TOURS VB – Verva WARSZAWA Orlen Paliwa 3-0 (25:21, 25:21, 25:20)
• Vojvodina NS Seme NOVI SAD – Zaksa KEDZIERZYN-KOZLE 3-0 (11:25, 22:25, 18:25)
• Knack ROESELARE – VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN 3-1 (28:26, 26:28, 25:19, 25:17)
Source and Photos: CEV