Big three show no mercy

As expected, Recco, Barceloneta and Olympiacos all claimed big wins and enjoy a 10-point lead ahead of the teams sitting in the non-qualifying spots at the halfway mark of the regular season. Vouliagmeni were the real winners of this round, now they jumped to the fourth place after coming away with a great victory from Hannover.

Group A: Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) 13-7, Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Pro Recco (ITA) 3-13, Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v NC Vouliagmeni (GRE) 11-14, Jadran Split (CRO) v Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP) 5-9

Standings: 1. Recco 18, 2. Olympiacos 18, 3. Barceloneta 18, 4. Vouliagmeni 10, 5. Radnicki 8, 6. Jadran 7, 7. Hannover 3, 8. Dinamo 0

Recco showed some serious defending in Tbilisi – not only the number of goals conceded was telling (3) but also the fact that they limited the Georgians to 9 shots on target. The totals also showed the difference (19-34), though some credits should go to Dinamo goalie Irakli Razmadze as well for making 13 saves, so the title-holders finished the game with a relatively modest 13 goals.

Freshly crowned Greek Cup winners Olympiacos also netted 13 against Radnicki – the Serbs could keep up till halftime when they only trailed 6-5 and even equalised for 6-6 early in the third. However, the Greeks blew the young side away with a 5-0 run and won with ease at the end.

Just like Olympiacos, Barceloneta also came from a triumphant cup weekend though theirs was more demanding as they could win a tight match over Sabadell in a shootout. Still, they looked anything but tired as they stormed to a 0-6 lead in Split by halftime. Jadran were able to score only after 22 minutes (!), at 0-7, but since finally the Spaniards showed some signs of fatigue, the hosts could save some pride and narrowed the gap to four goals by the final whistle.

Vouliagmeni benefitted from the losses of their direct rivals and with a great win in Hannover the other Greek team now also sit in a qualifying spot with seven more rounds to go. The Germans led 4-3 after eight minutes, then Vouliagmeni came up with a 6-goal rush in the second period and once they built a three-goal lead, they never let Waspo back to the game, despite missing two penalties.

Fixtures for Wednesday, Group B

18.30 CN Marseille (FRA) v AN Brescia (ITA)

19.30 Genesys OSC Budapest (HUN) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN)

19.30 Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v VK Novi Beograd (SRB)

19.30 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO)

Standings: 1. Brescia 15, 2. Novi Beograd 13, 3. Ferencvaros 12, 4. Jug 8, 5. OSC 6, 6. Spandau 5, 7. Sabadell 4, 8. Marseille 4

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