Lausanne, Switzerland, March 26, 2017 - Both best-of-five semifinal series in the Italian UnipolSai Superleague are tied at 1-1 after the weekend's results when Sir Saftey Conad Perugia beat Diatec Trentino and defending champions Azimut Modena outlasted Cucine Lube Civitanova.
Serbia's Aleksandar Atanasijevic was in top form, scoring 22 points for Perugia, who dominated Trentino on the net with 11 blocks to 7 and 53% (47/89) to 49% (49/100) in attacking efficiency to win 3-1 (30-28, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22) before some 4,000 fans at the PalaEvangelisti.
But in Modena, Sunday night, the home side came back from a set down to lead 2-1 and then blew 22-19 and 24-22 leads in the fourth. It took them a total nine match points to curb the resistance of Lube for a very hard-fought 3-1 (21-25, 27-25, 25-16, 34-32) win.
Earvin Ngapeth of France was once more the leading force of Modena with a contribution of 23 points, but Tsvetan Sokolov of Bulgaria with 26 points for Lube was top scorer of the game.
The third matches in the semifinals series in Italy are next weekend.Sada Cruzeiro in Brazil semifinals
Defending champions Sada Cruzeiro Contagem became the first team to advance to the Brazil Superleague semifinals when they scored their third back-to-back win, 3-1 (25-16, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19) before 2,000 fans at home in the Riachao over Lebes Gedore Canoas in their best-of-five quarterfinals series.
Evandro Guerra was top scorer of the latest game with 17 points but Simon Robertlandy was voted MVP after bagging six stuffs and scoring 14 points - as many as Filipe Ferraz who had a 67% attacking effiency (12/18). The overall blocking was what did the trick for the reigning world champions, who had 13 to Canoas' two.
Meanwhile, Sesi Sao Paolo, Funvic Taubate and Volei Brasil Kirin Campinas are all within one win of a berth in the Brazil Superleague semifinals, after all ties in the best-of-five quarterfinals went 2-0 this weekend.
Top scorer and with 21 points and MVP of the game Theo Lopes led Sesi to a 3-1 (29-27, 19-25, 25-21, 25-18) win in Belo Horizonte over Minas Tenis Clube. Taubate scored a home win 3-1 (25-15, 14-25, 25-18, 26-24) over Juiz de Fora with Lucas Loh voted MVP and Wallace Souza topping the scorers list on 21 points. And Brasil Kirin shut out Montes Claros 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-17) before 2,500 fans in Campinas on the back of Vini Siqueira who was voted MVP after scoring 11 points (8 stuffs) - one short of the 12 points by Luan Weber for Montes Claros.
All three sides could see themselves qualified to the semifinals during the coming week.Dinamo Moscow join Zenit Kazan in Final Six
In Russia, with just one round now remaining, Dinamo Moscow secured second place in the Superleague Regular Season standings after a 3-1 (25-20, 28-26, 22-25, 25-19) win at home over Dinamo Leningrad of Saint Petersburg, led by Konstantin Bakun who scored 15 points and Dmitriy Iliynykh who added another 14.
Defending champions Zenit Kazan had already claimed top spots with several rounds to spare, but nonetheless continued their winning ways with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-20) win in Belgorod over Belgorie.
The top two teams of the Regular Season get direct tickets to the Final Six. Teams ranked from third to tenth take part in the Playoffs for the remaining four spots. Wilfredo Leon scored 16 points with Matt Anderson of USA and Maxim Mikhailov adding another 13 each.Chip off the old block in Belgorod
But the highlight of the Belgorod match was the debut of 16-year-old Pavel Tetyukhin on the starting lineup of Belogorie alongside his legendary father Sergey - a record six-time Olympian and four-time Olympic medallist.
Tetyukhin junior received special permission to leave the Russian U19 National Team preparing for the European Championship in order to take part in the historic match, which just for the sake of father and son drew a 5,500-strong sellout crowd at the Cosmos Arena.
In a pre-match ceremony long-time General Manager and head coach of Belogorie Gennady Shipulin presented flowers to the parents of Sergey and grandparents of Pavel.Quick links - Volleyball:FIVB.com - VolleyballFIVB.com
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