Jug made it, but Marseille almost stunned them

Jug are the seventh team to make the Final Eight, but at stages they were in trouble in Marseille before securing their spot in Belgrade by losing by ‘only’ four goals. Brescia still need a point to secure the top spot after going down in Budapest as Novi Beograd bagged three points in the other pool in Hungary against OSC. 

Group B: CN Marseille (FRA) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 15-11, FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v AN Brescia (ITA) 10-6, Genesys OSC Budapest (HUN) v Novi Beograd (SRB) 9-11, Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) 10-11

Standings: 1. Brescia 31, 2. Novi Beograd 29, 3. Ferencvaros 25, 4. Jug 16, 5. Marseille 13, 6. Sabadell 13, 7. Spandau 11, 8. OSC 10

Marseille’s season was in ruins early in the spring when they were bottom-ranked after losing one game after the other. However, a couple of wins revived them, and they arrived at Day 13 with a slim chance to make their third F8 in a row – though at first, they should have staged a rout against Jug and beat the Croats by six goals at least. When Jug led 3-5 in the second, the F8 was fading from the hosts’ horizon – however, with a fantastic surge they netted four in a row before halftime. They were still lagging behind before the final period at 10-8, but then they scored four in three minutes to go 14-9 up, and they had five minutes to complete the first part of the miracle. It did not happen, though – they could add only one while Jug pulled two back to reach safe waters at the end. Since they won by five against the French in Dubrovnik, so now they can lose in Brescia in the last round.

And the Italians will need that victory to keep their top spot as they were no match for Ferencvaros this time. The Hungarians bounced back well from their embarrassing loss in Marseille, with a 4-0 rush they set the tone and with 2:21 minutes to go in the third they were 7-1 up – Brescia could score a single goal in 22 minutes. They made up some later one but never got in a position to force a tighter match.

The win brought nothing for the Hungarians as Novi Beograd had already downed fellow Magyar side OSC half an hour earlier. The Serbs could build a three-goal lead, but OSC shaved it off to one and had a couple of possessions to go even but NBG prevailed at the end. Thus, they still have hopes, though extremely thin, to finish atop, though it’s hard to see Brescia losing to Jug at home (NBG face an easier task against Spandau at home).

Sabadell claimed their first away win in Berlin, a fine build-up for their championship final against Barceloneta at home.

Fixtures for Saturday, Group A

13.00 Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP) v NC Vouliagmeni (GRE)

19.00 Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB)

19.30 (18.30 CET) Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)

20.00 Pro Recco (ITA) v Jadran Split (CRO)

Standings: 1. Barceloneta 33, 2. Recco 30, 3. Olympiacos 28, 4. Vouliagmeni 17, 5. Jadran 14, 6. Radnicki 9, 7. Dinamo 6, 8. Hannover 3