Champions League, Final Eight, Day 2 – FLASH QUOTES

14.30, For 5-8th places: Hannover v Marseille 11-9 

Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover 

“For us this is a big win. We did it last year against Olympiacos, done it again now against Marseille,  two great teams of quality so for us this is a huge achievement. We played much better today than  yesterday, especially in defence, our man-up worked much better, but it was the defence and our  wonderful goalie Moritz Schenkel who made the difference. Oh, and of course Petar Muslim, he had his  usual big day today. Qualifying here and winning a game here is a huge success for Waspo and we have  one more game to play. That will be hard, for sure, but now let us be just happy for what we just did.” 

Petar Muslim, player, Hannover 

“After yesterday’s loss today we showed what a team play is. I am really glad with how we have reacted  to yesterday’s defeat. Yesterday Brescia litteraly shut us down with their agressive play. Today we  showed that Waspo does have a place at F8. We are absolutely looking forward to tomorrow’s match  and want to make a step up from last year’ s 6th place. It would be a great farewell of this team that has  been together for three years and has won so many trophies.” 

Marko Macan, player, Hannover 

“We reacted well to yesterday’s defeat and this is what makes me proud and hopeful for tomorrow.  Yesterday was really bad. Today we won against Marseille which had defeated us in group phase twice  this season. They are a great team. Tomorrow we want to do more and try to catch the 5th place as a  step forward for the future.” 

Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille 

“We could have won this game earlier but somehow we didn’t have the necessary power to score in the  important moments. As you know, we had positive cases here in the team, missed an important player  which affects our rotation and that made more of our key men exhausted. But we should still have  played much better than this, as we showed many times in the season. I’m really sorry that we couldn’t  repeat that level here, we definitely play below our level in this tournament. But we qualified here,  developed a lot in the season, we lost twice here but this happens in sport.” 

Vladan Spaic, player, Marseille 

“It was a difficult match to play after yesterday’s loss. We had a good season, we were 2nd in our  group. I don’t know, maybe we weren’t prepared psychologically good enough. I think we should have  done better today. We will try to do better tomorrow and show what we know and can do.” 

Ugo Crousillat, player, Marseille 

“For sure, we wanted to win today. My congratulations to our rivals, they absolutely deserved to win.  We were really bad today but tomorrow we will do everything to win. Of course these matches are not  easy to play but we are athletes and that’s sport.”

16.30, For places 5-8th, Barceloneta v Jug 12-9 

Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barceloneta 

“It was hard for both teams to recover from last day’s matches and neither team could play on the same  level as yesterday. I was happy to see how the players reacted and I think this win just reinforces that  we have had a good season, despite the loss yesterday. Today in the third Jug started coming back, it  was no surprise, they changed their game a bit, we started committing mistakes in front, and they are  extremely good in counterattacks. Once we calmed down and began to play smarter in attack – as the  defensive mistakes were originated from the attacks –, we regained the control.” 

Oscar Asensio, player, Barceloneta 

“After yesterday’s loss it was really difficult to concentrate on today’s match. However, we really did  want to win in order to play for the 5th place. It was important for us. We wanted to represent our club  in the best possible way.” 

Unai Biel, player, Barceloneta 

“It was difficult to play today after losing yesterday’s game. Luckily, F8 is played every year unlike the  Olympics. Still, we did our best and everything our coach wanted us to do. For sure, we want to win  tomorrow too. Waspo is a tough, typical German team. They are strong and never give up. I think our  advantage will be our pace.” 

Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug 

“Even if it looked like that, we were doing the same what we had done against Ferencvaros – it was  absolutely not the same, nothing similar. Both teams were exhausted, both of us lost in the same way  and we gave everything, really everything yesterday. Even there was a small hope in the third, right  from the beginning it was obvious, that it’s not the same speed and it also turned out that we had less  gasoline in the tank. It’s not good to lose but the one yesterday was more painful. Tomorrow we try to  finish our season with a win, that would be important as all in all we had a good run this year.” 

Loren Fatovic, captain, Jug 

“Both teams lost yesterday and were kind of playing by force. We were tired. Once again, we suffered  for having short roster this season. All in all, what is important is that we coclude this season without  penalties or injuries before a busy summer ahead. I wish all the luck to all four semi-finalists.” 

Maro Jokovic, player, Jug 

“It was a physically demanding match. We had some good moves but felt a bit tired after yesterday.  They were forcing fast rhythm which we could not keep up. Still it is a great learning experience for our  young players.”

18.30 Semi-final: Brescia v Novi Beograd 13-14 

Alessandro Bovo, coach, Brescia 

“Maybe it was entertaining for the fans but not for me as a coach. I think we played well in several parts  of the game, but our defence did not work as effectively as it was expected. It was very hard to play  against the home team, for sure, we tried everything and it’s too bad to lose a match that way.” 

Vincenzo Renzuoto, player, Brescia 

“It is always hard to lose the match 5 seconds before the end… It was a good game. Our defence  suffered somewhat while we did well in attack. We were in the lead mostly so the disappintment is even  greater. We still have a medal match to play and must approach it seriously. We must rest, forget about  today and prepare for tomorrow.” 

Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, player, Brescia 

“It was a good match. We lost it in the last 5 seconds. It is difficult to say much right now. We did play  with all our heart and gave all we had at the moment. We have one more game to play, the bronze  medal match. We will try to win whoever comes. It would be very important for us.” 

Igor Milanovic, coach, Novi Beograd 

“Following a game like this as a coach it’s not that easy, I can tell you, as our team showed nothing  what we had agreed before this match. At halftime, when it was 7-7, I told my players that you were  genius, you did not do a single thing according to our game plan and we still had this 7-7 draw! We  

could do better in the second half, though not much better, but at least it turned out again that this team,  these players have a heart the same size of Planet Earth – that brought them to the final. Of course,  above the Earth, I have my big-big little Sun, my Greek Angelos (Vlachopoulos), who was simply  amazing. Now we are in the final but as of now, I cannot even think of the game, the potential rival – rather, this evening, I’ll have to think much more of my team.” 

Angelos Vlachopoulos, player, Novi Beograd 

“What a pair of spetacular last goals. First a golie scores then my last one. This was a real drama and a  great water polo game to watch and play both. Brescia is an excellent team with a great goalkeeper and  superb tactics. I would like to congratulate them too. For us and for the fans it is important to have as  many matches like this. Now we have to rest. Tomorrow is a new day and we must prepare mentally  first and foremost.”

Nikola Jaksic, player, Novi Beograd 

“We played worse than yesterday. We need to upgrade our game for tomorrow if we want to win  against whoever comes and win that most important match of the whole season. For me, it will be the  first time playing for the Champions League title in front of the home fans. I will tell you tomorrow how  it feels.”

20.30, Semi-final: Recco v FTC 10-7

Sandro Sukno, coach, Recco

“Yes, it was somewhat the same as last year’s final, but this is a new year with new teams and we had to  work really hard for this victory. Missing the extras in the first period didn’t make me worried, this is  part of the game. After 4-4, we could score some goals thanks to our quality and that made the  difference – after that we had a much easier last period, but we worked for that and our place in the  final. It’s going to be a tough game, against the home team, with Igor Milanovic on the bench, but we  will be ready – Recco always has to be ready.” 

Gonzalo Echenique, player, Recco 

“We have achieved our goal today and we are very happy. Our defence worked well and it was the right  way for us as we tired them out. Tomorrow we are hoping to play as good as we did today. Primarily  strong in defence and concentraced in attack.” 

Aleksandar Ivovic, captain, Recco 

“I must say that I expected the match to be more equal than it turned out to be but I won’t complain  about that. At the beginning, our defence was working well but our extraman was not. Then with some  pressing, a couple of M-zones we managed to get into situations where some unexpected shots would  go in, which at the beginning did not. Tomorrow we play against a team that was put together to win the  Champions League trophy. They have five Olympic champions, an Olympic silver medallist and a top  coach who knows all too well what it takes to win the final. I should know that since he led me to win  the Champions League once. Having said that, we will give our absolut best tomorrow and try to retain  our title.” 

Zsolt Varga, coach, Ferencvaros 

“At the beginning of the season, after changing five of our core players, we only had dreams that we  may just return to Belgrade. After a while, our appetite grew, we made the Final Eight, then we won  yesterday and thought that we might do another miracle with another win. Well, that would have been a  miracle for sure, and we ran out of them, after making miracles many times during the season. This  game, undeniably, came down to a physical battle where we lost but this was inevitable as Recco is  more powerful, they played really well – we could keep that level only till halftime. Now we need to  recover somehow as I don’t want to leave this pool without a medal tomorrow.” 

Denes Varga, captain, Ferencvaros 

“If you want to beat Recco in any game the key is to stay disciplined, do not take unnecessary risks  because if you do that, they’ll either punish it or you are risking a penalty or an exclusion. It was these  little things that added up in by the end of the third quarter. By the fourth, the pressure was gone. Our  club season was excellent, I am very sastisfied. Yesterday I was so happy as if we had won something.  Today we failed. We are still very much motivated for tomorrow’s match. Again, the key will be the  discipline and sticking to our game plan.”