Unstoppable Leal pulls Lube past Perugia in Italian League derby

Defending champions close in on table leaders

An unstoppable Yoandy Leal maneuvered Cucine Lube Civitanova to a thrilling five-set away win over Sir Safety Conad Perugia as the leaders of the Italian Men's League standings came head-to-head on Wednesday.

The Cuban-born Brazilian outside hitter scored a match high of 24 points, including a 54% (21/39) attacking efficiency, guiding Lube to their 3-2 (22-25, 30-28, 25-18, 18-25, 15-12) win. On the other side, Cuban-born Pole Wilfredo Leon scored 23 points for Perugia.

Perugia missed their chance to break off to a two-set lead, when they failed to convert four set points in the second.

The result is great for morale and bragging rights, but effectively it reduced the gap at the top of the standings by only one point, with Perugia now leading by seven (though Lube have played a match less).

In other midweek action of matches postponed from earlier in the season, struggling Leo Shoes Modena got a boost to their quest for a berth in the Playoffs with a 3-1 (25-19, 28-30, 25-23, 25-19) win at home in the PalaPanini over NBV Verona.

The win comes right after Modena excelled in the European Champions League last week and extends their overall winning streak to five matches.

Modena produced very nicely distributed scoring by MVP of the game setter Micah Christenson, between Daniele Lavia (16), Luca Vettori (15), Nemanja Petric (14) and Daniele Mazzone (14 - including 6 locks). However the top two scorers of the game came from Verona, with Matey Kaziyski on 19 and Thomas Jaeschke adding another 17.

The home side had the opportunity to go two sets up, but never capitalised on a total of six set points, before Verona came back to tie the overall score on the first chance they got.

The Italian League continues on Sunday with matches of the 16th Round of the Regular Season.

More information on the official website of the Italian League.

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