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Sir Sicoma Perugia retain title with convincing win over Itambe Minas

BALBIR SINGH | December 11, 2023 06:45 AM

BENGALURU: Sir Sicoma Perugia of Italy became only the third team to successfully defend their Volleyball Men’s Club World Championships title with a 3-0 triumph over Brazil’s Itambe Minas at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

Another Italian club Itas Trentino (2009-2012) and Brazil’s Sada Cruzeiro Volei (2015, 2016) are the only other teams to have achieved that feat. Perugia joined that exclusive club with a dominating performance in Bengaluru as they did not drop a single set in the competition.

Perugia won the final 25-13, 25-21, 25-19 in what was a grand finale to a high-quality competition that was being held for the first time in India and only the second time in Asia.

The Italian outfit, who had stitched together eight wins in their nine SuperLiga matches back home, had blanked Minas in the group stage and were the overwhelming favourites even before the final started.

And the team that boasts of star setter Simone Giannelli, Polish Outside Hitter Kamil Semeniuk and Cuban Opposite Jesus Herrera showed that they meant business as they raced to a 7-3 lead and extended that advantage of five points at 11-6 with some quality spiking.

Every time Minas looked like fighting back in the set, they were guilty of a service error and never recovered once the Italians opened up a 10-point lead at 22-12.

Minas, however, put the disappointment of the first set behind as Opposite Michael Sanchez and Outside Hitter Marcus Coelho scored valuable winners to hand their team a 2-7 lead.

At this stage Perugia showed why they were such a champion side as their Ukranian Outside Hitter Oleh Plotnytskyi came up with a couple of big serves as the Italians drew level at 8-8 after bagging five straight points.

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