The top three bagged easy wins as expected, so Barceloneta are still in pole position to land in Belgrade as group-winner. Jadran grabbed their last chance, still, despite being on equal points with Vouliagmeni, the Croats would need a miracle in the last three rounds to pip the Greeks for the fourth place.
Group A: Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Jadran Split (CRO) 7-12, Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 15-8, NC Vouliagmeni (GRE) v Pro Recco (ITA) 7-13, VK Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP) 10-14
Standings: 1. Barceloneta 30, 2. Recco 27, 3. Olympiacos 25, 4. Vouliagmeni 14, 5. Jadran 14, 6. Radnicki 9, 7. Dinamo 6, 8. Hannover 3
Jadran learnt the lessons – from their embarrassing defeat last year in Tbilisi and Radnicki’s fall two weeks ago. The Croats built a massive 3-8 lead against Dinamo by halftime, so their win was already secured. Now they are equal points with Vouliagmeni which fought hard, early in the third they could close the gap to a single goal against Recco, but the title-holders scored three in a row after 6-7 to avoid any unpleasant situations.
Though they are on level, Jadran would need something special in the remaining three rounds to finish ahead of the Greeks (in case of equal points, Vouliagmeni go through). Here are their fixtures for the remaining rounds: Vouliagmeni: Dinamo (a), Barceloneta (a), Radnicki (h) – Jadran: Olympiacos (a), Recco (a), Hannover (h).
Barceloneta did their utmost to finish atop, beat Olympiacos at home, then took revenge on Recco in Italy, now they visited Kragujevac and fended off the Serbs renewing surges. The Spaniards are sitting comfortably in the driving seat, it’s hard to see them dropping any point over the last three days against Hannover, Vouliagmeni and Dinamo.
Olympiacos had no headaches while downing Hannover – however, they can only target the second place, in case they could beat Recco in the last round.