ECLW semis: Double winner vs. Triple championPhoto: Pillik
Linz AG Froschberg hosts TTC Berlin Eastside (Sunday, March 12th) in the 1st semi-final leg, while Tarnobrzeg travels to Szekszard (Friday, March 10th). Both games will be covered live on LAOLA1.tv
One of great ECLW rivalries will be continued this Sunday in Austria, where double ECLW winner Linz AG Froschberg hosts triple champion and actual No. 1 seed TTC Berlin Eastside. Other first semi-final encounter will take a place on Friday, March 10th, in Hungary, between Szekszard and current runner-up and No. 2 seed KTS Siarka ZOT Tarnobrzeg.
Since establishing of ECLW, Linz always reached semi-final stage at least, taking two titles (2009, 2013) and playing in two more finals (2010, 2015). Reigning ECLW champion Berlin is still unbeatable so far in the ongoing season, winning German Cup and standing on the top of Bundesliga with the actual 10-0 score. They have 6-0 in ECLW, but coach Irina PALINA is a little bit concerned over Petrissa SOLJA`s injury. She managed to recover, but still needs time to return in her best possible shape.
“We hope that Petrissa has recovered from her injury and be able to play”, stressed Berlin`s president Alexander TEICHMANN speaking for Berlin`s official website.
Irina PALINA added:
“This will be the biggest challenge of the season so far. There are two equal teams, so current player`s form should decide the match. I trust my players. They know exactly what they need to in this kind of situations. Of course, there is still a small question mark about SOLJA`s ability to play the upcoming game on her usual level after her injury”.
It’s almost like Austria vs. Germany, bearing in mind that LIU Jia and Sofia POLCANOVA represent both, Linz and Austrian national team, while SHAN Xiaona and Petrissa SOLJA are members of Berlin and Germany. The 22-year-old POLCANOVA awaits upcoming clash in the best possible shape, as triple winner of the 87th National Championships of Austria. On the other side, SHAN finished second in Singles event in Germany, while Georgina POTA missed 100th Hungarian Championships due to flu.
Last year, ECLW record holder Berlin eliminated Linz after 3:2, 3:1 wins in the semi-finals. Both sides won all their games do far in the 2016/17 edition.
Regarding, other semi-final duel, Szekszard will fight for its best ever achievement in the ECLW (this is their very first semis) while Tarnobrzeg targets its second ECLW final in a row.
“We travel to our sport friends. Our first and last stay in Szekszard was great, except the result, because we lost 3:2 (Natalia PARTYKA missed seven match points vs. Petra LOVAS and HAN Ying four vs. Li Fen). But the entire stay we remember in a good light”, stated coach of Polish champion, Zbigniew NECEK.
Hungarian side was superior in the quarter-finals, overcoming twice TT Saint Quentin. Tarnobrzeg created one of biggest comeback in ECLW knock out stage, surpassing the 3:0 (9:4) win of UCAM Cartagena.
2016/17 ECLW semi-finals, 1st leg
SZEKSZARD AC - KTS SIARKA ZOT TARNOBRZEG (March 10th, 18:00, live on LAOLA1.tv)
LINZ AG FROSCHBERG – TTC BERLIN EASTSIDE (March 12th, 17:15, live on LAOLA1.tv)