Three host sides await returning ECLW quarter-finals with advantage, Cartagena travels untroubled to PolandPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
Returning games will be held this Friday and Sunday, as two out of them will be live streamed on LAOLA1.tv
Three out of four favorites (according to the seeding list) won away their first quarter-final matches of 2016/17 ECLW, held two weeks ago, while UCAM Cartagena upset at home no. 2 seed and current ECLW runner-up KTS Siarka ZOT Tarnobrzeg. Returning matches, this Friday and Sunday, will decide semi-finalists.
Cartagena had a big advantage, as they beat Tarnobrzeg 3:0 (9:4). Crucial moments came in the second match, when Tetyana BILENKO upset HAN Ying after full five games.
“We are very satisfied with the result, and very satisfied with the performance of our players” stated Cartagena’s team manager Enrique PEREZ MIRAS. “It was a very tough match, against a great rival. We are sure that it will be very difficult to win the tie, but it is true that we are going to Poland with the best result we could imagine. Now we have more options than before the first match. In Cartagena we were lucky to live a great show, the public enjoyed much with the rule of acceleration that was applied in the match between BILENKO and HANN”.
Recent 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup boosted self confidence to Cartagena’s Matilda EKHOLM who finished on the 7th place, playing very well in the quarter-final where she was beaten by eventual winner LI Jie in six games.
Szekszard and and Saint Quentin played close match in France and now both sides expect one more thrilling clash. Head coach of Hungarian side, Gyorgy SZILY commented:
“Game was a huge thriller and more then 600 fans were supporting us in Saint-Quentin so atmosphere felt electric. Players gave all they had and it was special match with many twists of fortune for both teams. Dora MADARASZ played some spectacular table tennis and was biggest part of our close victory. Never the less nothing is finished and French side is still in the game. Now our focus is on second leg back home and we will be prepared for this upcoming challenge.”
Hungarian team won 3:2, thanks to MADARASZ who beat both, ZENG Jian and Daniela DODEAN-MONTEIRO (8th placed at Euro Top 16 last weekend). Saint Quentin`s manager Jean-Louis POLARD is aware that his side will not have any chance if Singaporean player is not in her best shape:
“The first leg was expected to be very tight and it was true, nearly unbelievable: a 4-hour match (2:2, 10:11) with 18 thrilling games out of 21. One of the most dramatic matches in Saint-Quentin ever! Because of Szekszard N°3, Hungarian Dora MADARASZ, who was ‘on fire’ and won twice, Saint-Quentin led 2/1 but lost in the end. Unfortunately our N°1 player, Singaporean ZENG Jian, failed and it’s impossible to win when the leader can’t get at least 1 point. We just hope she will be better for the 2nd leg in Hungary on February 10th. Anything can happen.”
Reigning champion and triple ECLW winner Berlin hosts ALCL Grand Quevilly with 3:1 advantage. Two players of German club finished among the best five of 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup in Antibes, France, but bad news for coach Irina PALINA was the fact that silver Petrissa SOLJA was forced to retire in the final match against LI Jie because of an injury. Georgina POTA played very well in Antibes and finished on the fifth spot.
Double ECLW champion Linz AG Froschberg and 2015 ETTU Cup Women runner-up Metz TT promised one more breathtaking showdown in Austria. Two weeks ago Linz won 3:2 (12:8), but, as its president Gunther RENNER stressed few days ago, everything is possible in the clash between these two clubs. Especially bearing in mind their last season’s quarter-finals, when Austrian side won with just one point in its favor, 347:346.
The 2016/17 ECLW quarter-finals, 2nd leg
KTS SIARKA ZOT TARNOBRZEG – UCAM CARTAGENA (Feb 10, 17:00 CET, 1st leg 0:3, live on LAOLA1.tv)
SZEKSZARD AC – TT SAINT QUENTIN (Feb 10, 18:00 CET, 1st leg 3:2, live on LAOLA1.tv)
TTC BERLIN EASTSIDE – ALCL TT GRAND QUEVILLY (Feb 10, 19:00 CET, 3:1)
LINZ AG FROSCHBERG – METZ TT (Feb 12, 16:00 CET, 3:2)