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Champions League Men - 28 May 2014

Orenburg-Pontoise, the last act


Can Orenburg reach its third MECL title in a row – same as Borussia , or Pontoise will drawn in its name in the history winning its very first trophy? The answer comes this Friday in Russian city Orenburg, with the final rematch of 2013/14 Men`s European

Can Orenburg reach its third MECL title in a row – same as Borussia , or Pontoise will drawn in its name in the history winning its very first trophy? The answer comes this Friday in Russian city Orenburg, with the final rematch of 2013/14 Men`s European Champions League (13h20 CET, live on LAOLA1.tv). French side won first leg 3:1 (10:5) making a big surprise, no matter how the returning leg will go.

“We are very satisfied by 3:1 home win, but we know how strong is Orenburg`s team, so we are aware how difficult rematch expect us in Russia”, emphasizes Pontoise`s best ranked player Marcos FREITAS (world`s no 13) who concluded the 1st leg beating Vladimir SAMSONOV in four sets.

Even Chinese WANG Jian Jun is non ranked player on ITTF world ranking list, he has the best individual score (10-3) among the finalist. Russian side needs both its leading stars in good shape (OVTCHAROV lost three games in the semi-final, SAMSONOV was beaten twice in 1st final leg) to confirm big expectations from their fans.

“Our rival is very strong, but we are determined to win this hardest battle and the European Champions League for the third time in a row. It is expected to be a real battle of the two best European clubs”, said Fakel Gazproma`s coach Valery SALABAEV.

FACTS AND FIGURES

• Pontoise has a chance to be first champion from France since Caen beat Borussia in 1998/1999

• Orenburg plays its 5th consecutive ETTU final (2010 ETTU Cup, 2011-2014 MECL)

•Orenburg plays for 3rd MECL crown in a row, achievement that already have Borussia and Charleroi (record holder with 4)

• Pontoise plays its first ever MECL final

• This is the second ever Russian-French final (last year Orenburg beat Chartres)

• Orenburg and Pontoise met once in MECL knockout stage, in 2012/13 semi-final (Orenburg progressed in the final)

• Vladimir SAMSONOV tries to improve his all-time record on 11th MECL titles (Borussia as a team has 10)

• Dimitrij OVTCHAROV plays his 6th consecutive MECL final in a row (2009 with Borussia, 2010 with Charleroi, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 with Orenburg)

• Orenburg started as no. 1 seed having two Top 11 players on current ITTF Ranking list: Dimitrij OVTCHAROV no. 4, Vladimir SAMSONOV no. 11, Marcos FREITAS no. 13, Alexey SMIRNOV no. 51, Kristian KARLSSON no. 94, WANG Jian Jun n. n.

• There is no team`s no. 1 and 2 players with less than three defeats: OVTCHAROV 9-4, SAMSONOV 9-4, FREITAS 10-5, WANG 10-3

FIRST FINAL GAME HELD ON MAY 17th

AS Pontoise Cergy – Fakel Gazproma Orenburg 3:1 (10:5)
Marcos FREITAS – Dimitrij OVTCHAROV 1:3 (11:13, 9:11, 12:10, 6:11)
WANG Jian Jun – Vladimir SAMSONOV 3:0 (11:9, 11:8, 11:8)
Kristian KARLSSON – Alexey SMIRNOV 3:1 (12:10, 5:11, 12:10, 11:8)
Marcos FREITAS – Vladimir SAMSONOV 3:1 (11:7, 11:8, 10:12, 11:5)

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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