During the season that marked its comeback to the highest category in Argentine volleyball, River accomplished its main goal and qualified to the play offs. Despite it could not win against Gigantes at their last game of the regular stage, Fernando Borrero’s team ended the stage in the eight place with 21 points, and now it has to play against all the best in the decisive stage. In the quarterfinals, its rival will be Personal Bolívar.
In Neuquén, the game went 3-0 for Gigantes del Sur, with partial scores of 25-20, 25-21 and 25-21. Federico Martina, with 13 points, was the top scorer of the game, while Vaca Álvarez and Della Chá won 10 points each for El Millonario.
The first set had an even start, but Gigantes was hard on Martina and had a favorable play to reach the second technical time-out at 16-13. After that, Borrero bet on Manuel Tamburi –who, with 16 years old, was one of the two youngest players to debut on the 2016/2017 League– to strengthen the reception, and thus El Millonario drew the set at 16. However, on the lasts minutes, Toro and Martina leaded the offense and handed the set for the local team.
During the second set, Gigantes began more firmly and, with Villarruel and Martina, got to the two technical time-outs at 14-8 and 16-12. Vaca Álvarez added points to put River closer in the score, but, once again, the local team was very strong at its blocking and won the set.
The best plays of the visitor team were seen during the first part of the third set. A good performance by Giraudo, well accompanied by Portillo and Vaca Álvarez, allowed River to get to the second technical time-out at 16-10. The local team reacted quickly by holding a solid defense and, with Martina’s attack in its best, it drew at 20, and then an ace by Toro won the set for the rival team.
In this way, Gigantes confirmed its qualification on the fifth place of the board, and River, in spite of the defeat, had good news from Morón (UPCN had won against Gallito and guaranteed River the eight place) and ended the day with the satisfaction of achieving its main goal of the season.
Gigantes del Sur: Juan Martín Riganti (2), Federico Martina (13); Javier Sánchez (7), Rodrigo Aschemacher (6); Juan Villarruel (10), Alejandro Toro Ramella (10). Libero: Franco Retamozo. COACH: Camilo Soto. Substitutes: Héctor Vergara (L), Gabriel Aramayo, Antu Isso (2), Emmanuel Espinosa (1).
River Plate: Matías Giraudo (3), Lucas Tell (5); Alejandro Arias Ramírez (3), Lautaro Della Chá (10); Rodrigo Villalba (4), Luis Gorosito (7). Libero: Luciano Massimino. Coach: Fernando Borrero. Substitutes: Manuel Tamburi, Martín Portillo (3), Gustavo Vaca Álvarez (10).
Stadium: Ruca Che (Neuquén).