Belgian superstar Sam Deroo did not travel to Italy for Zaksa‘s hard fought win against Italy’s Diatec Trentino, according to the team’s official website. The hard-hitting opposite suffered an ankle injury a few days prior in Zaksa‘s game against Lubin, in Poland’s PlusLiga:
“Fortunately, the injury is not dangerous, there were no serious damages, only a lot of swelling, but we preferred not to risk the Belgian’s health. Deroo stayed in Kędzierzyn and is undergoing rehabilitation. Rafał Szymura and Rafał Buszek will get a chance to show off their skills now. Let them show what they can do. Italy is the best place to show yourself to the volleyball world.” Zaksa’s president Sebastian Świderski.
In spite of his absence, Zaksa was able pull off a 3-2 (25:23, 22:25, 25:27, 25:21, 15:17) win. Like Swiderski said, Szymura and Buszek were indeed able to fill in modestly for Deroo, scoring 7 and 17 points, respectively. However, if the team is indeed to make a deep playoff run in the competition, it better hope for Deroo’s quick and efficient recovery, as average performances from role players will not be enough for Zaksa to fight off Europe’s best.
Deroo is currently Zaksa‘s leading scorer in the competition, at a 4.4 points per set average. He is also shining in PlusLiga, where he is the competition’s 7th highest scorer and the 10th best ranked hitter in spiker rating.
Zaksa, which currently leads the competition’s Pool E, will play it’s last Pool game on 02/28 against Turkey’s Arkas Izmir.