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ITA CUP M: Quarterfinals preview

by WoV

On Wednesday night eight teams will fight it out for a place in the Italian Cup final four to take place on March 8-9 in Bologna.



Cucine Lube Banca Marche MacerataBre Lannutti Cuneo

Marko Podrascanin (Cucine Lube Banca Marche Macerata): “We want to bounce back from those two consecutive losses and get into Bologna’s final four. It will be an in-or-out match, which already makes it a difficult game. We’ll need maximum focus against a team that will give its all. They’re coming off back-to-back wins in the league, but our goal is to win this important game and play the kind of volleyball we proved we could play in the first part of the season”.

Gabriele Maruotti (Bre Lannutti Cuneo): “We went straight from Latina to Macerata for this cup quarter-final against the league leaders. They have proved they deservedly are in the first place, they have strong players in every position, and I think their serve is their main strength. If we want to win in their Fontescodella gym, we’ll need to play at our best. We’ll need to put all the energy we’ve got into it and try to do our best. We have to go there knowing we have nothing to lose and just go all out”.

Copra Elior PiacenzaTonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia

Hristo Zlatanov (Copra Elior Piacenza): “We have to be as concentrated as possible for this important game, Piacenza has been missing the final four for too long. We have to go through at all cost, we cannot hide ourselves, we have what it takes to make it, we have to go out there and do the job. We’ll have to be united, put maximum effort without ever underestimating the opponent and get in Bologna’s final four”.

Gianlorenzo Blengini (Coach Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia): “We’re in a tough situation, we knew it would be so from the start. The important thing, no matter the situation we know is that the team give everything it has , and I think we did exactly that again against Ravenna. On Sunday in the fourth and fifth set, we had two players that would have been better off out of the game because of physical problems, and two others with cramps. We’ll go to Piacenza with what we have, we’ll try to execute well all the things that do not depend on who’s on the other side of the net. We’ll try to play composed, without the pressure that the favorite has”.

Diatec TrentinoCasa Modena

Filippo Lanza (Diatec Trentino): “We’re getting to this tie with a smile thanks to the three points taken on Sunday night in Molfetta. But the task ahead with be anything but easy. Compared to the league game won against them, Modena now has a new setter, a top class player, Bruninho, who made them step up one level. We’ll have to study well, tactically too, to understand what to do to contain their spikers. This is a very exciting game but risky too. Good job we can play it in our PalaTrento, with our fans”.

Angelo Lorenzetti (Coach Casa Modena): “We are a bit disappointing with the last two league defeats, I think we’d have deserved to play a tie-break on both occasions. On the one hand, those games against very strong oppositions like Piacenza and Perugia told us we were still a little short, but on the other hand, if we play aggressive, we know we have our chance too. We’ll need to be aggressive against Trento, convert the opportunities that we’ll create ourselves and be composed too, even in the hard times, especially when dealing with the quality of their serve. They can build their attack as well as last season, they are quicker and play more in the center”.

Sir Safety PerugiaCalzedonia Verona

Andrea Giovi (Sir Safety Perugia): “We have celebrated for just a few hours our victory over Macerata because we already had our minds set on the cup game against Verona. As good as the win over Macerata was, this remains a simple league game, while on Wednesday we play in a do-or-die game and an important target which Perugia has never reached. We are extremely motivated to make it into the final four and we’ll have the help of our amazing fans to try to get there”.

Andrea Giani (Coach Calzedonia Verona): “We got our pass to the cup quarter-finals thanks to an excellent first half of season. We’ll play this in-or-out encounter against a team working on all cylinders. This will be a great game, exciting to experience, this is something I used to think as well when I was a player. In a way, the league game are a routine to us, games like this one, you live them once, there’s a special atmosphere about it and extraordinary competitive spirit involved. That’s why tomorrow night, I’ll ask my players to live and enjoy the game. We’ll start at 0-0 and a lot will depend on the quality of play and the competitive spirit put on court. We want to play from the first point and be ourselves. Whoever has the best approach to the game and is the most composed during the game usually wins”.

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