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Honore’s Benfica win away from title
T&T’s Marc-Anthony Honore moved to within one win of yet another Portugal Volleyball Federation Premier Division crown with his SL Benfica club after a straight sets win over AJF Bastardo in the opening match of their best-of-three final on Saturday.
This after the 13-time champions Benfica won the opener, 25-18, 25-19, 25-19 ahead of the second match away to AJF Bastardo today, and a third and deciding contest if needed on Saturday back in Benfica.
Benfica ended the regular season at the top of the standings with a 21-1 record for 62 points, the lone loss coming against Bastardo, which ended second with 61 points and a 20-2 record.
Over in France, the other European-based T&T men’s professional player, Ryan Stewart and his club, Amiens Longueau Metropole won for a second straight time, however it was not enough to save his team from relegation in the eight-team French Men’s Elite Division Relegation playoffs.
Coming off a 25-10, 25-21, 25-21 win over cellar-placed MUC Volley-Ball, Amiens Longueau Metropole brushed aside seventh placed Beaucourt-Sochaux 25-21, 25-16, 25-21 on Saturday ahead of its final match with second placed Conflans-Andresy-Juoy on Saturday.
With the win, Amiens Longueau Metropole improved its record to 6-7 with 16 points, nine behind fourth spot VC Michelet Halluin which would have guaranteed survival.
At the top of the table and certain of staying in the division is CA Brive with a 10-3 record for 29 points and Conflans-Andresy-Jouy (26) while third and fourth placed teams, Saint-Louis VC and VC Michelet, both with 25 points and 9-4 records face agonising final round encounters, needing to get a point at least to stay in the division, ahead of fifth placed CNVB, which must also beat Beaucourt-Sochaux.
In the Russian Women’s Super League, 19 -year-old Sinead Jack and 14-time champions, Uralochka NTMK saw their season come to and end after losing their playoff with Dinamo Krasnodar, 2-0.
Dinamo Krasnodar won the first leg 25-22, 25-18, 25-20 and then sealed the series with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-16 triumph.