The list of competitors of the Final Six of the Champions league (Budapest, 25th-27th May) is completed. In the last round of the prelims, Brescia booked the last available spot and joined Pro Recco, Szolnok, Olympiacos, Jug, and Eger, which have secured their places at F6 earlier. As group winners, Pro Recco and Szolnok are going directly to the semifinals. Both clubs remained undefeated in the prelims.
In the hunt for the last, sixth place at the Final Six were Brescia and OSC. Before the 10th round, Brescia was in the third place in Group A and had a two-points lead ahead of OSC. This evening the Italians hosted and beat Olympiacos (13-10), while OSC suffered a defeat against Szolnok (8-10), so nothing in the ranking wasn’t changed.
Olympiacos came in Brescia without any pressure. Before 10th round, the Greeks were locked to 2nd position in the group. The guests from Greece didn’t have a pressure, but they had a lot of motives to win at the end of the prelims. They led just two times during the encounter (3-2 and 4-3), but the match was uncertain till the end. Brescia took the lead again 2.25 before the end of the second quarter (5-4). The hosts kept the lead, but the gap has never been bigger than two goals, till the last minute. The last eight minutes produced 10 goals. The last for Olympiacos scored Genidounias (11-10, two minutes to go). Soon after that Nora and Cristian Presciutti netted for the quiet ending and for the final score 13-10.
Before the last round OSC had a slim chance to reach the Final Six, but the team from Budapest didn’t give up easy. Their rival in the 10th round was Szolnok, which secured the 1st place in the group earlier. The match in Szolnok was an extension of the series of games between these two rivals in the semifinals of Hungarian play-off. In the domestic competition Szolnok came out as a winner, same happened in the last round of the Champions league. The match was decided in the fourth quarter. OSC led most of the time, but in the last four minute the hosts scored three goals in a row and turned around a 6-7 deficit into a 9-7 lead (47 seconds by the end). Everything was decided then. In the last 15 seconds, both sides scored one goal: Brguljan for a 9-8 and Younger for the final score 10-8.
In the last match of Group A Spandau beat Nice 10-6, which means that the French completed their first season in the Champions league without any one point. The man of the match was the Serb Nikola Dedovic, with 5 goals.
Eger overtook Jug
Match of the day in Group B was played in Eger, where Eger hosted Jug in the fight for 2nd place in the group. Before the last round, the title-holders were on 2nd place with two points more than Eger. Jug started well this evening, the guests led 1-0 and 2-1. Eger, led by Balazs Erdely (3 goals), went ahead in the second period (3-2). The encounter offered a real thrilling finish. Before the last quarter, the home team led 4-3. The Hungarians increased their advantage in the finish (6-3, 1.31 by the end). The drama wasn’t over yet. Jug managed to score two straight goals, but it was too late. Hrvoje Benic netted twice, both from an extra-man. Jug came close 6-5. After that Eger kept the ball in the remaining 12 seconds and celebrated the important win. The Hungarians jumped in 2nd place. They will meet Brescia in the semi-finals, while Jug will play against Olympiacos, in the rematch of the Champions league final 2015/16.
In other two matches in Group B favorites won in the other pools. Pro Recco completed the prelims with all 30 points. The Italians defeated Hannover, as guests, but they didn’t show all they can. After the first half, they led just 2-0. Soon after the start of the 3rd period Recco jumped to a 4-0 lead. The hosts their first goal scored 5.26 by the end of the 3rd period (1-4). Till the middle of 4th period Recco, led by Dusko Pijetlovic (3 goals), increased the advantage to a 10-5. At the end, the guests won 10-7.
Barceloneta defeated Partizan in Belgrade (8-4). Both teams played excellent in defense in the first half, which ended 2-3. In the third and the fourth quarter Barceloneta secured the victory, first of all, thanks to Martin Famera, who scored all five Barceloneta’s goals in the second half.
Final Six (Budapest, May 25th-27th)
May, 25th (Quarter-finals)
Olympiacos – Jug
Eger – Brescia
Match for 5th place
Semifinal 1: Szolnok – Eger or Brescia
Semifinal 2: Pro Recco – Olympiacos or Jug
Match for the third place
10th round, results and standings
AN Brescia (Italy) – Olympiacos (Greece) 13-10 (2-2,, 4-3, 1-1, 6-4)
Brescia: Nora 3, Ubovic 3, C. Presciutti 2, Bertoli 2, N. Presciutti, Guerrato, Paskovic.
Olympiacos: Genidounias 2, Mourikis 2, Janovic 2, Delakas, I. Fountoulis, Buslje, Espanol.
Szolnoki VSK – OSC Budapest 10-8 (2-3, 1-1, 2-2, 5-2)
Szolnoki: Varga 3, Prlainovic 2, Younger 2, Vamos, Mezei, Fulop.
OSC: Nikic 2, Zalnaki 2, Dr. Brguljan 2, Salamon, Kovacs.
Spandau 04 (Germany) – Olympic Nice (France) 11-6 (2-1, 4-2, 4-1, 1-2)
Spandau: Dedovic 5, Marzouki 2, Saudadier, Cuk, Jungling, Restovic.
Nice: Izdinsky 2, Monneret 2, Cakic, Hansen.
1. Szolnoki VSK 10 – 28
2. Olympiacos 10 – 22
3. AN Brescia 10 – 17
4. OSC Budapest 10 – 12
5. Spandau 4 10 – 7
6. Olympic Nice 10 – 0.
ZF Eger (Hungary) – Jug (Croatia) 6-5 (1-1, 2-1, 1-1, 2-2)
Eger: Erdely 3, Cuk, Harai, Angyal.
Jug: Benic 2, Garcia Gadea, Perrone, Fatovic.
Waspo Hannover (Germany) – Pro Recco (Italy) 7-10 (0-1, 0-1, 2-4, 5-4)
Hannover: Radovic 2, Sekulic 2, Bukowski, Brguljan, Winkler.
Pro Recco: Pijetlovic 3, Mandic , Sukno, Figari, Filipovic, Bodegas, Ivovic.
Partizan (Serbia) – Barceloneta (Spain) 4:8 (0-1, 1-2, 2-3, 1-2)
Partizan:Radanovic, F. Jankovic,Jaksic, Radojevic.
Barceloneta: Famera 5, Lozina 2, Mallarach
1. Pro Recco 10-30
2. Eger 10-18
3. Jug 10 – 17
4. Barceloneta 10 – 14
5. Partizan 10 – 4
6. Hannover 10 – 3