Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza are the winners of the 45th edition of the Men’s Coppa Italia as the team from Northern Italy was unstoppable over the weekend and ended the tournament’s Final Four at the top of the podium at Palazzo dello Sport, in Rome, on Sunday.
Piacenza sweep Trentino and claim Coppa Italia title
The team also ended Perugia’s 33-match winning streak in the semifinals
Published 09:11, 27 Feb 2023
Piacenza, who rank sixth in the SuperLega Credem Banca, swept (25-22, 25-17, 25-23) Itas Trentino in the gold medal match to secure their second Coppa Italia title – the team also lifted the trophy in 2014.
On Saturday, Piacenza had an equally impactful triumph in the semifinals, when they eliminated reigning world champions Sir Safety Susa Perugia with another three-set (30-28, 25-20, 25-22) victory and ended their opponents’ 33-match winning streak, handing them their first defeat since May 2022.
Brazilian outside hitter Yoandy Leal, whose presence in the Coppa Italia was questionable after he sustained an injury during a SuperLega match last weekend, was Piacenza’s main player in the gold medal match, tallying 20 points (18 kills, two aces), including the game-winning one. He was awarded the final's Most Valuable Player award.
“Winning the Coppa Italia means a lot to us because this team has dealt with some heavy criticism during the season,” head coach Massimo Botti said. “It’s the reward for our hard work. We were very confident about recovering Leal on time and we knew his presence would make a lot of difference, as it did. The team showed great attitude on both matches and dealt with errors in the right way.”
Cuban middle blocker Robertlandy Simon and Brazilian outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli added nine points each for the champions while French Olympic champion setter Antoine Brizard also had a productive night with seven points (four aces, two blocks, one kill).
“We prepared well for both matches and we saw a lot of determination from each of our players,” Leal reflected. “I need to thank the team doctors and physios because two days ago I had no idea if I was going to be able to play. They worked a miracle. This tournament showed our real level and now we return to the Italian League with less pressure.”
Trentino’s veteran opposite Matey Kaziyski was the match’s top scorer with 21 points (17 kills, two blocks, two aces) and also the only player in his team to reach double digits. Outside hitters Alessandro Michieletto and Daniele Lavia tallied seven points each.
Piacenza and Trentino will both be back in action in the Italian League next weekend. The Coppa Italia champions will play Top Volley Cisterna on the road on Saturday at 18:00 local time (17:00 UTC) while the silver medallists face Pallavolo Padova also as visitors on Sunday at 18:00 local time (17:00 UTC) as well.