With four rounds to go, Brescia and Ferencvaros are confirmed as Final Eight participants, in the company of host Novi Beograd. At the same time, the Serbs are now the new leader in Group B as they beat Marseille with ease, while Brescia’s winning streak was halted by OSC which produced a brilliant 5-1 comeback in the last period to save the game to a tie. Ferencvaros took revenge on Spandau which was good news for Jug as the Croats suffered another unexpected defeat. This time bottom-ranked Sabadell knocked them out with a 6-goal storm in the final quarter.
Group B: Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 15-12, Genesys OSC Budapest (HUN) v AN Brescia (ITA) 14-14, Novi Beograd (SRB) v CN Marseille (FRA) 11-4, FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) 12-8
Standings: 1. Novi Beograd 25, 2. Brescia 25, 3. Ferencvaros 21, 4. Jug 14, 5. Spandau 8, 6. Sabadell 7, 7. OSC 7, 8. Marseille 7
Novi Beograd caught up Brescia and took over the top spot – thanks to OSC, which produced a miraculous comeback against the Italians in the fourth period to force a draw. After a hard-fought first half, Novi Beograd blew away Marseille in the second. They were 4-2 up at halftime and produced a 7-2 rush in the next two quarters to bag an easy win. Joao Fernandez came up big in NBG’s goal, posted 12 saves on 16 shots for 75%.
In Budapest, Brescia had the better start and even though OSC, once 2-6 down, came back from time to time, the Italians always had the answers and still led 9-13 after three periods. However, the Hungarians never gave in, and with a spirited performance they scored four connecting goals in the fourth, then could equalise once more 44 seconds from time to save some pride, without any hope to make the Final 8.
Sabadell did something similar against Jug. Though the Croats managed to put the Spaniards’ stormy 3-0 start behind, they could never really take control. They started the fourth period with a single goal lead but were unable to hold on – Sabadell staged a 4-0 rush and never looked back.
The Croatians champions are still not in big danger as Ferencvaros didn’t let Spandau get closer to them. The Hungarians had some minor struggles during the game, but their individual skills prevailed in the crucial moments and at the end they kept their perfect home record (5/5) with a convincing performance.
Fixtures for Wednesday – Group A
19.00 (16.00 CET) Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB)
18.30 Pro Recco (ITA) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER)
19.00 Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)
19.00 Jadran Split (CRO) v NC Vouliagmeni (GRE)
Standings: 1. Barceloneta 24, 2. Olympiacos 22, 3. Recco 21, 4. Vouliagmeni 13, 5. Jadran 10, 6. Radnicki 9, 7. Hannover 3, 8. Dinamo 3