TTCLM quarter-finals: Pontoise ready for the challengePhoto: Kristian KARLSSON FB page
All four 1st leg games will be held this Friday: UMMC – Orenburg, Borussia – Pontoise, Eslovs – Chartres, Saarbrucken – Olimpia Unia
After four weeks break the 2015/16 TTCLM continues with the quarter-final games, as all four 1st leg clashes will be held this Friday: UMMC – Orenburg (15:00), Borussia – Pontoise (18:30), Eslovs – Chartres (20:00), Saarbrucken – Olimpia Unia (20:00).
All-Russian quarter-final duel will be a reprise of the 2011/12 final when Orenburg beat UMMC to secure its first ever TTCLM crown. Fakel Gazproma is again clear favorite with its famous line-up Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, Vladimir SAMSONOV and Alexey SMIRNOV, and one more important fact is that UMMC plays without its best player Jun MIZUTANI who is engaged in the Japanese National Championships.
The 2014 TTCLM winner Pontoise prepares revenge for the last season`s close defeat in the quarter-final, when Borussia progressed thanks to better set-ratio. Coach Christian ADAM explains:
“We know that this match will be very difficult. We met Borussia last season and the match was lost due to the set average. This season, having finished first in our group, we receive in the second leg, which is undoubtedly an advantage to play in front of our public. Timo BOLL, even if Borussia says he cannot be 100%, remains a great player and we know he will be up to the event. We are ready for the challenge !"
Borussia`s player Panagiotis GIONIS, who spent several seasons in Angers, believes that his side is able to continue winning run after they won German Cup last weekend.
“I know the players of Pontoise very well from the time I played in Pro A. Marcos FREITAS is one of the best European players and he is able to make to points in every match. WANG Jian Jun and Kristian KARLSSON are strong too. Ok, our team is motivated to beat Pontoise and we are strong enough to do it. So it will be a tough clash between two of the best clubs in Europe.”
Actual ETTU Cup winner Eslovs hosts the 2013 TTCLM runner-up Chartres. French club won all six games in the group stage, combining five players. World ranking speaks in Chartres favor, but Swedish side showed many times how strong is their team work.
Saarbrucken targets its second TTCLM semi-final in the last four seasons, having 1st leg duel against Olimpia Unia on its soil. Polish champion played above all expectations in the Group B (they overtook UMMC in the last round). Coach of German side Slobodan GRUJIC, double TTCLM winner as a Gonnern`s player, believes in his players:
“The quarter-final was our first goal, but of course we want more. We respect our opponent, but also believe in our strength and ability to reach semi-final”.
The 2015/16 TTCLM Quarter-finals, 1st leg (January 15th)
UMMC – Orenburg (15:00 CET)
Borussia – Pontoise (18:30 CET)
Eslovs – Chartres (20:00 CET)
Saarbrucken – Olimpia Unia (20:00 CET)