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25/10/2016 16:20
Benfica LISBOA win sixth consecutive Supercup
News from the National Federations

Viseu, Portugal, October 25, 2016. This past Saturday the winners of the 2016 Cup of Portugal, Benfica LISBOA, did rout reigning national champions AJ Fonte Bastardo AZORES at Viseu City Sports Hall cruising to a compelling 3-0 victory (25-18, 25-22, 25-17) to claim Portugal’s Supercup for the sixth straight year. The first major event of the 2016-2017 domestic season was organised by the Portuguese Volleyball Federation, the Viseu City Hall and the Volleyball Association of Viseu.

Benfica started the match in the best way, building a five-point lead after the first technical time-out of the opening set, even though the reigning national champions tried to put up a fight. That lead was never threatened but at the beginning of the match, and quite obviously the ‘Eagles’ won the opening set by 25-18.

At the beginning of the second set, the team now lead by former Portuguese national team captain, João José put a lot of pressure on their opponent but Benfica players were able to cope with that and levelled the score at 6-all before edging ahead again. By the second technical time-out they were leading the way by three points; Fonte Bastardo, however, responded to turn the tables around at 21-20. However, some mistakes and an ace by André Lopes eventually sealed the second set for Benfica at 25-22.

With their back against the wall, Fonte Bastardo claimed an early lead in the third set but that proved not enough as Benfica stormed back to make it 10-all. From there, Benfica widened their advantage until reaching a seven-point lead (20-13). At this point, both teams knew who was going to leave Viseu with the cup. Joan Diaz (Benfica) was the match top scorer with 14 points, followed by Raphael Oliveira with 13.

José Jardim, head coach of Benfica LISBOA: “It’s a great feeling as we claimed this victory by means of a great performance. The team has been working really hard since the beginning of the season in order to come here and display our best Volleyball to our great fans; many of them were here today, providing a further boost to our performance.”

Hugo Gaspar, team captain of Benfica LISBOA: “It was better than we hoped for. We showed that we are the stronger side and everyone is to be congratulated. This sixth consecutive Supercup reflects the hard work we have been doing for the past few years; our goal this season is to achieve the best possible results in the national league, Cup of Portugal as well as in the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup.”

João José, head coach of AJ Fonte Bastardo AZORES: “It’s a difficult loss to digest. I still believe that we played a good match but we couldn’t manage to turn this into points, because we failed in the decisive moments, what proved to be the difference between the two teams. Benfica have a very experienced team whereas Fonte Bastardo are currently building a new one with many new players. I believe that we are going to get stronger throughout the season.”

Caíque Silva, team captain of AJ Fonte Bastardo AZORES: “Benfica were more consistent throughout the entire match. They were very good at serving and their reception was solid too, what was the most significant difference between us. Despite the loss, I believe we are building a strong team to put up a good fight and try and retain the national championship title we won last year.”

Click here for a comprehensive list of honours

Click here for a video of the medal ceremony

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