Table Tennis Champions League Men Round 6: Great showdown, great expectations in DenmarkPhoto: Courtesy Borussia Dusseldorf
Roskilde Bordtennis BTK 61 hosts Borussia Dusseldorf in the Group D clash. BENTSEN: “We hope to play in the TTCLM quarter-finals”. HEISTER: “We want to win our group”. All eight games to be held this Wednesday and Thursday (Dec 20/21st)
All eight TTCLM quarter-finalists will be confirmed this Wednesday and Thursday, December 20 and 21st, after the final round of group stage. Six out of eight teams already booked their places for the knock-out phase, while two more will be decided in Group C and Group D. Unique unbeaten side so far, reigning TTCLM champion Fakel Gazprom is the only one which secured top spot.
Two future quarter-finalists from Group A, Sporting and Fakel Gazprom are going to fight one against another in the Round 6. Regardless of final score, newcomer from Portugal (3 wins-2 defeats) will finish on the second place, while defending champion (5-0) continues as the group`s winner. Double TTCLM winner AS Pontoise Cergy (1-4) hosts Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki (1-4) in the battle for the place in ETTU quarter-finals
“TTC Fakel-Gazprom regardless of the last match in Lisbon with the Sporting Clube de Portugal had already won first place in Group A and reached the TTCLM play-offs. Therefore, we sent in Lisbon the second line-up of our team and gave an opportunity to rest our main players before the Russian Premier League in St. Petersburg. Sporting Clube de Portugal is a strong team and deservedly won the right to play in the quarterfinals of the European Champions League”, stated Orenburg`s Team Manager Victor ANDREEV.
Two former TTCLM runner-ups UMMC and Saarbrucken enter GROUP B Round 6 with the same win-loss record 4-1 and secured spots for the quarter-final stage. Russian side travels to Sweden to meet Eslovs (0-5), while German club welcomes Chartres (2-3) future ETTU Cup quarter-finalists.
“We face a toughest possible task in battle for the top spot in our group. We are in a good shape, entering the game with a lot of self-confidence. I hope that we can win supported by our fans”, said Saarbrucken`s Coach Slobodan GRUJIC.
The head coach of the TTSC UMMC Tatiana Kutergina commented on the upcoming match against 2016 TTCLM runner-up:
“We have young and very promising athletes Maksim KISELEV and Ilya ZHIDKOV. They already have experience of participating in the international tournaments, besides they will have an example and leader - the most experienced Alexander SHIBAEV. For young players this match will be their baptism by fire, I'm sure they will pass it with honor. They always play well in all matches, in Sweden they will have chance to showcase their abilities”.
The 2009 TTCLM runner-up Ochsenhausen (3-2) can only claim the top spot of Group C if they beat away Walter Wels (1-4) and Stella Sport la Romagne (4-1) lose its home game against TTC Ostrava 2016 (2-3). But, actual ETTU Cup winner already booked its place in the knock-out phase, while German side has to win in Austria in case of Ostrava`s victory in France.
Stella La Romagne`s player Brice ILLIVIER stressed “the first place is far from gained, because in this pool everyone can beat everyone”, while Coach Fabrice COUTOLLEAU stated:
“We are approaching this match as we are, whatever happens, qualified for the quarter-finals. A first place of the group will however be much better to have a draw more "favorable" and receive the second match”
Ochsenhausen`s Coach Dubravko SKORIC is looking forward to meeting Austrian side:
“We are looking forward to the last match of a very tough year and group stage of 2017. I hope we can push ourselves one more time to the limit and pass the group. It will not be easy to play against Wels because they are a strong team and especially at home they can be dangerous.”
GROUP D provides great showdown in Denmark, confronting two contenders for the top spot Roskilde (3-2) and Borussia Dusseldorf (4-1). Hennebont (2-3) hosts Dzialdowo (1-4) with a possibility to reach TTCLM quarter-finals or finish on the bottom.
“We are waiting a big match in Roskilde”, emphasized Roskilde`s Team Manager Allan BETNSEN. “Like I said before, we were before start happy with some good matches, now we play against Dusseldorf for the first place in group! We are very happy and have secured quarter-finals, at least in ETTU Cup, but of course we hope for Champions League. All players are ready, and table tennis fans in Roskilde and Denmark look forward to this match. We got Danish television to come and make a small report from the match.”
Coach of the ten times TTCLM winner Danny HEISTER explains how he sees the upcoming clash:
“On Thursday we will have the first final in this TTCL season. We want to win our group and for this we need to beat Roskilde. We won the first match in Düsseldorf 3:2 and 12:10 in sets. So the mission is for both, Roskilde and Düsseldorf, clear: The team which will win this battle will win the group. We know the importance of this match. We are totally focused on it.”
Borussia`s rising star Anton KÄLLBERG added:
“Nobody thought at the beginning of this TTCL season that number 16 seeded Roskilde will fight to end group stage as number one. The team made an excellent job! But the pressure is on the side of Roskilde. They still need to qualify for next round and can be out if they will lose against us and Hennebont will win the match against Dzialdowo. We are prepared for a big fight.”
2017/18 TTCLM Round 6
AS Pontoise Cergy - K.S. Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki (Dec 20, 19:30)
Sporting Clube De Portugal - TTC Fakel Gazprom (Dec 20, 20:00)
Eslovs Ai Bordtennis - TTSC UMMC (Dec 20, 18:30)
FC Saarbrücken Tischtennis - Chartres ASTT (Dec 20, 19:00)
SPG Walter Wels - TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen (Dec 21, 19:00)
Stella Sport La Romagne - TTC Ostrava 2016 (Dec 21, 19:30)
K.S. Dekorglass Dzialdowo - G.V. Hennebont T.T.(Dec 21, 18:00)
Roskilde Bordtennis BTK61 -Borussia Düsseldorf (Dec 21, 18:30)