After plenty of drama, defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova broke out of Milan with a 3-2 (25-21, 30-32, 23-25, 25-22, 15-10) victory over Allianz, which gives them only two points in their race to catch up with table leaders Sir Safety Conad Perugia in the Italian Men's League which continued over the weekend.
Yet another brilliant playmaking performance by match MVP setter Luciano de Cecco of Argentina proved necessary for Lube to score their fourth win on the trot. The visitors' best scorer was Luxembourg's Kamil Rychlicki on 23 points, but the match high of 25 came from Milan's Yuki Ishikawa of Japan after an impressive attacking performance of 85% (23/27).
Lube were first to reach set point in the second set, but failed to convert on this and their next three tries before Milan came back to tie the game on the fourth attempt of their own.
Perugia, meanwhile, had an easier Sunday evening on the road at the Pala Mauro de Andre, where they shut out Consar Ravenna 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-22), led by match MVP Oleh Plotnytskyi. The 23-year-old Ukrainian attacked for 61% (14/23) and scored a match high of 17 points - one more than teammate Wilfredo Leon.
Perugia are now five points ahead of Lube in the standings, but have played a match more.
Itas Trentino, on the other hand, are racing to catch up with the two leaders after a hard-earned home victory over Vero Volley Monza 3-2 (25-16, 20-25, 25-17, 20-25, 15-13) that extends their winning streak to 9-0 in the Italian League (and 12-0 including the European Champions League). They have not lost since going down in four sets to Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia on November 25, 2020.
A 63% (19/30) attacking efficiency and 21 points in total earned Brazil's Ricardo Lucarelli the MVP of the match award, as the Netherlands' Nimir Abdel Aziz scored the match high of 24 points for Trentino.
The Italian League continues next weekend.
Full details of the competition on the official website of the Italian Men's League.