With identical contributions of 21 points each, France's Earvin Ngapeth and the Netherlands' Nimir Abdel-Aziz powered Leo Shoes PerkinElmer Modena to a 3-1 (17-25, 27-25, 25-29, 25-16) win before 3,000 fans at home in the PalaPanini over Gioiella Prisma Taranto, as the Italian men's league continued over the weekend.
Nimir, Ngapeth keep Modena in chase of Italian league leaders
Perugia take opportunity to break away at top of standings
Published 07:37, 12 Dec 2021
It was Modena's sixth win on the trot (ninth, if also counting the CEV Cup), but they could have been in deep trouble had they not edged Taranto in the second set to avoid going two sets down.
Abdel-Aziz's 58% (19/33) earned him the MVP of the match award, but Ngapeth produced a great receiving performance.
The result allows Modena to climb up to third place in the standings, catching up with Itas Trentino on points - though Trentino have a match to spare.
Trentino, alongside defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova are on their way back from the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship, where they picked up the bronze and silver medals respectively in Betim.
This allowed Sir Safety Conad Perugia to break away at the top of the standings after a 3-1 (25-14, 25-18, 22-25, 25-20) win over Vero Volley Monza at home in the PalaBarton.
Cuba-born Poland international Wilfredo Leon produced yet another incredible performance for a match high of 22 points - including five aces, three blocks and 14/22 for 64% in attack - and 62% positive receptions.
In other weekend action for Round 12, Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia saw a four-match losing streak come to an end as they denied Kioene Padova a comeback for a 3-2 (25-22, 25-20, 19-25, 24-26, 15-10) home win.
Vibo Valentia tried to finish the match in four for full points, but all they managed was to survive two set points at 24-22 as Padova forced the tie-break.
Brazilian duo Mauricio Borges and Flavio Gualberto were key to Vibo Valentia's win - the former named MVP for his 18 points and a 50% (17/34) attacking plus a solid contribution in receiving, the latter for his 17 points of which seven out of a team total 15 blocks.
The high scorers of the match, though, came from Padova, with 19 from Eric Loeppky of Canada and 18 by Mattia Bottolo.
And Top Volley Cisterna shut out Consar RCM Ravenna 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-16) with Petar Dirlic of Croatia contributing the match high of 16 points which included six blocks (five more coming from Aidan Zingel of Australia).
The Verona Volley v Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza match was postponed, after three positive coronavirus cases were detected within the visiting side.