Playoff picture set as Italy’s Div. 1 heads into post season

Italy’s Div. 1 has wound up the eight-game regular season with the top six teams qualifying for the playoffs.

The Milano Seamen finished the regular season in first place with a 7-1 record after losing surprisingly to the Parma Panthers. Behind them in second came the Bolzano Giants with a 6-2 mark. Bolzano lost badly to the Seamen 44-16 late in the year. Both teams earned a bye into the semifinal round.

The Firenze Guelfi wound up third, also with a 6-2 record after losing to both the Seamen 34-28 and to Bolzano 36-32. Behind them in fourth came the Parma Panthers who also had a 6-2 record after dropping a 27-17 decision to Firenze and 20-6 to the Giants.

With the third place team facing the sixth in the wild card playoffs and the fourth playing the number five team, the opponents for the Guelfi and Parma were not decided until late in the season. The Torino Giaguari, who had been winless heading into the final two games of the season, won both including the decisive matchup with the Ancona Dolphins to determine the sixth and final playoff berth. The Lazio Ducks, the fifth place finishers with a record of 5-3, lost two of their last three games but still made it. They will take on the Parma Panthers.

The winner of the Parma Panthers-Lazio Ducks wild card game will advance to face the Milano Seamen in one semifinal while the Bolzano Giants will play the winner of the wild card game between the Firenze Guelfi and Torino Giaguari.

Parma defeated the Ducks during the regular season 30-20 but Lazio could surprise in this one. Meanwhile, the Guelfi had no trouble with Torino handing them a 49-14 loss. However, that loss was early in the year and the Giaguari were much improved towards the end of the season playing both Milano and Parma almost even. In fact, the loss to Firenze was the last lopsided loss.

The wild card round is scheduled for the weekend of June 15/16 although that could change.





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