T&T volleyballer, Marc-Anthony Honore and SL Benfica advanced to yet another Portugal Volleyball Federation A-1 Division final after completing a 3-0 semifinal series sweep of Sporting CP on Sunday.
SL Benfica enjoyed its best display thus far in the playoffs by easing past Sporting CP 25-15, 25-17, 25-20 for a third straight win in their best-of-five-matches semifinals.
It was also sweet revenge for SL Benfica after they were beaten by Sporting CP in the Portugal Volleyball Federation Cup final earlier this month, Benfica won Game One in five sets 25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 24-26, 17-15 on March 13 followed by Friday's Game Two win 25-16, 25-17, 25-22.
In the final series, Benfica will be going after a ninth league crown against AJF Bastardo who also swept 18-time league champions SC Espinho.
AJF Bastardo won its third straight playoff clash with Espinho, 26-28, 25-15, 25-17, 25-21.
This after AJF Bastardo won Game One 25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 25-19 and then Game Two 25-19, 25-19, 25-20, 25-19.
Winners of the Super Cup last November for a third straight year, and record tenth time overall, SL Benfica will go into the final series as slight underdogs after ending the eight-team second round of the campaign with a 12-2 win-loss record and 35 points, two behind AJF Bastardo (12-2), one of only two clubs to beat Benfica in their last 60 domestic matches.
Sporting CP ended with an 11-3 record and 32 points for third while fourth-placed SC Espinho (8-6) tallied 24 points.
The quartet of Esmoriz (7-7), Castelo Maia (3-11), Viana (3-11) and Caldas (0-14) with 21, eighth, eighth and three points respectively complete the table.
Before the start of the eight-team Second Round series, SL Benfica ended the shortened regular-season due to the coronavirus pandemic with a perfect 13-0 record and 39 points, nine clear of Sporting CP and Viana, (10-2) who both had a match in hand.
In European competition, Benfica was beaten in the quarterfinal of the CEV Challenge Cup by Turkey’s Halkbank, 25-21, 18-26, 16-25, 21-25.