Eagles and lions clash on Saturday in Viana do Castelo
Men’s Portuguese Volleyball Cup holders Benfica face Sporting on Saturday in Viana do Castelo in a final derby that promises “strong emotions” and poise, the coaches of both teams said on Friday.
“[Será] a derby of strong emotions. May it be a sold-out stand, with great performances. Our ambition is to reach the final to discuss the match. Even for those who arrive at bad times, in knockout games, on neutral grounds, the moment and the inspiration count. We are not going to count on the upturn in form and we believe it is enough to beat the trophy holder. It’s a derby,” Lions coach Joao Coelho explained.
The coach of the green and whites took up the ambition to challenge the eagles in a press conference that brought together coaches and captains of the four teams that on Saturday challenge for the semi-finals, followed by the final on Sunday: on the one hand, Benfica and Sporting, at 18:00, and from another Castêlo da Maia and Fonte do Bastardo.
This game is already scheduled for 15:00 but will have to be postponed as the Azoreans have not yet been able to fly out of Terceira Island due to the bad weather.
The test, moreover, is seen by Reds coach Marcel Matz as part of a “final trajectory” that includes “the final stretch of the league, a target for all teams” and with three of the four involved in the decision, with except for the Castle. “We will focus on these games, [estar] very strong and focused, with a lot of desire to win. Whoever manages to play better will emerge victorious. The four teams here have the conditions to win the semi-final,” he explained.
Thiago Gelinski, captain of the “Leonine” formation, which is looking for the fifth Cup title in its history, guaranteed that the team he leads wants to “do the best and get a different result from last year”.
In the same stand, at the Cultural Center of Viana do Castelo, but also in the semi-finals, Benfica beat Sporting 3-1, advancing to a final where they then beat Fonte do Bastardo, for 2021/22. lift the 19th title, which puts the outstanding eagles at the top of the history of the winners.
“Benfica are like all the teams with the biggest investments, set up to win. But that is won every day. Tomorrow [sábado], it’s a new game, a new story. There is no favoritism in this final stretch of the season,” assured Marcel Matz.
Captain Hugo Gaspar, a 40-year veteran and star of many achievements for the Incarnates, also recalled how this is “that game that everyone likes to watch”, in which “whoever performs best will win”. “We want to be us and win this Cup again. […] We have already lost a Super Cup this year, but we want to maintain the dominance in volleyball. If we have it, it’s because we’ve displayed it inside the booth. Both Benfica and Sporting are investing to win titles. The pressure is from both sides,” he said.
Benfica and Sporting meet at 6pm on Saturday for a place in the final of the Men’s Volleyball Portugal Cup.