mercoledì 8 aprile 2015

LEN Champions League - day 8, Eger makes strong push for Final Six

Plenty of action and excitement across Europe on day 8 of the Champions League preliminary round with ZF-Eger as one of the, if not the, winner of the day. The Hungarian champions held off Brescia 10-5 to take firm grip of 2nd place in group A and make a strong push for the last available Final Six ticket. Fellow competitior Radnicki meanwhile fell to defending champions Barceloneta 9-7 so that the Hungarian squad has good hands going into the final two preliminary rounds. In Hungary Balazs Erdelyi led the home team with 3 goals as they took control of the match in the second period and saw Brescia unable to turn the tide. In the third period the visitors crawled back to 5-4 but two straight goals by Balint Lorincz and Boris Vapenski had restored the order. Meanwhile in Barcelona Radnicki could not follow Eger to stay close in the battle for the last Final Six ticket. Barceloneta even overcame a 1-3 start to the match as Felipe Perone (3 goals), Albert Español (2) and Marc Minguell (2) led their team to a comeback which was completed in the final quarter by scoring two unanswered goals that would seal the 2-goal victory as Barceloneta overtook Radnicki for 3rd place in the group, although the Final Six hosts are automatically qualified for the final tournament. Still leading the group though are Pro Recco. The Italian favourites are already sure of the Final Six, more or less sure of the top spot in the group and thus directly semifinal qualification in Barcelona, and on Wednesday extended their unbeaten streak by topping Olympiacos in Greece 8-12. Despite a red-hot Blai Mallarach who produced 4 of his team's 8 goals, the visitors from Italy walked away from their opponents in the 4th quarter thanks to a big 1-6 run and therewith secured the seemingly comfortable but in any case, solid win. Matteo Aicardi and Filip Filipovic led the winners' team scorers with 3 each.

Also more than enough action in group B despite the fact that the top 3 teams and Final Six participants out of the group are already known. On Wednesday Jug needed a buzzer-beating goal from youngster Ante Viskovic to draw level with Galatasaray in Istanbul 12-12. Viskovic, who threw the ball away in the game versus Szolnok two weeks ago with just 5 seconds remaining after a free-throw whistle and therewith caused a penalty shot which lost the game for Jug, this time was on the positive side for his team in the dying seconds as he scored the goal that would avoid an upset but instead saved a point for the favourite Croatian side who now saw Primorje and Szolnok walking away in the standings. Primorje was not to be surprised in Berlin beating Spandau with ease, 5-15, while Szolnok trailed Partizan 4-2 at quarter-time but turned things around in the second period and walked away in the 4th term to gain a solid 7-13 victory to remain group leaders. Denes Varga was on fire scoring 5 goals for the visitors from Hungary. Dusan Mandic and young centre-back Nikola Jaksic netted 3 each for Partizan.

Day 9 of the prelims will be played on Saturday 18 April with the race for the last Final Six ticket out of group A possibly to be decided already.

Wednesday, 8 April:

Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade (SRB) vs. Szolnoki VSK (HUN) 7-13
 (4-2, 1-5, 2-3, 0-3)

Partizan scorers: Dusan Mandic 3, Nikola Jaksic 3, Gavril Subotic.

Szolnok scorers: Denes Varga 5, Norbert Madaras 2, Marton Vamos 2, Zivko Gocic, Milan Aleksic, Daniel Varga, Stefan Mitrovic.

ZF-Eger (HUN) vs. AN Brescia (ITA) 10-5 
(3-2, 2-1, 2-1, 3-1)

Eger scorers: Balazs Erdelyi 3, Norbert Hosnyanszky 2, Daniel Angyal, Balint Lorincz, Milos Cuk, Marton Szivos, Boris Vapenski.

Brescia scorers: Federico Pagani, Valerio Rizzo, Alessandro Nora, Christian Presciutti, Christian Napolitano.

CN Atletic-Barceloneta (ESP) vs. VK Radnicki Kon Tiki Kragujevac (SRB) 9-7 (1-3, 4-2, 2-2, 2-0)
Barceloneta scorers: Felipe Perrone 3, Albert Español 2, Marc Minguell 2, Bernardo Oneto, Gonzalo Echenique.

Radnicki scorers: Dusan Markovic, Aleksandar Ciric, Ivan Basara, Srdjan Vuksanovic, Nikola Dedovic, Marko Cuk, Marko Petkovic.

Wasserfreunde Spandau Berlin (GER) vs. Primorje EB Rijeka (CRO) 5-15 
(1-5, 3-4, 0-4, 1-2)

Spandau scorers: Martin Famera, Mateo Cuk, Maurice Jüngling, Marin Restovic, Tim Donner.

Primorje scorers: Cosmin Radu 4, Andelo Setka 3, Ivan Buljubasic 2, Petar Muslim, Xavi Garcia 2, Damir Buric, Marko Elez.

Galatasaray Istanbul (TUR) vs. Jug CO Dubrovnik (CRO) 12-12 
(2-3, 5-3, 2-2, 3-4)

Galatasaray scorers: Vjekoslav Paskovic 3, Nikola Vukcevic 3, Srdjan Aksentijevic 2, Mladjan Janovic, Nesfet Ozbek, Osman Gulenc, Berk Biyik.

Jug scorers: Marko Ivankovic 3, Miho Boskovic 2, Ante Viskovic 2, Aaron Younger, Pavo Markovic, Andro Buslje, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Paulo Obradovic.

Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) vs. Pro Recco (ITA) 8-12 
(1-2, 4-3, 2-1, 1-6)

Olympiacos scorers: Blai Mallarach 4, Emmanouil Mylonakis, Angelos Vlachopoulos, Ioannis Fountoulis, Alexandros Gounas.

Pro Recco scorers: Matteo Aicardi 3, Filip Filipovic 3, Dusko Pijetlovic 2, Andrija Prlainovic, Francesco di Fulvio, Aleksandar Ivovic, Niccolo' Gitto.

The current standings are:

Group A
1. Pro Recco 8 - 24 pts
2. ZF-Eger 8 - 13
3. VK Radnicki Kragujevac 8 - 9
4. C.N. Atletic-Barceloneta 8 - 11
5. Olympiacos Piraeus 8 - 7
6. AN Brescia 8 - 5

Group B
1. Szolnoki VSK 8 - 21 pts
2. Primorje EB Rijeka 8 - 18
3. Jug CO Dubrovnik 8 - 16
4. Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade 8 - 6
5. Wasserfreunde Spandau Berlin 8 - 6
6. Galatasaray Istanbul 8 - 4

N.b.: times mentioned are local time.

* Hosts Barceloneta automatically qualified for Final Six (28-30 May in Barcelona)
* Top 2 (ex Barceloneta, group A) and top 3 (group B) qualify for Final Six.
* Group winners advance to Final Six semifinals directly.

Final Six tickets on sale, click here.

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