Seamaster ECLW quarter-finals: Georgina POTA leads reigning champion to her homelandPhoto: Ronny Pabst
First quarter-final leg will be held this Friday (Jan 26th) and Sunday (Jan 28th): Szekszard – Berlin, Lille Metropole – Dr. Casl, Saint Quentionis – Bursa, Linz – Tarnobrzeg
Hungary`s Szekszard AC hosts reigning Seamaster ECLW champion TTC Berlin Eastside in the first quarter-final leg, this Friday (Jan 26th). Berlin`s player, actual world no. 20 Georgina POTA travels to her homeland to face team guided by coach Gyorgy SZILY.
“We are facing with the four times ECLW winner Berlin Eastside that will be definitely a big challenge. Meeting with Georgina POTA’s team is motivating us and we are really glad to greet her with Berlin at Szekszárd, Hungary. We really endeavor to meet that challenge and try to entertain spectators playing first class table tennis in Seamaster ECLW quarter-final. It is high time to deploy our strongest player CHENG I-Ching and I believe we can have the chance to surprise the opponent to put our defender Polina MIKHAILOVA into action”, stated SZILY.
Szekszard won only one match in group stage, playing just two rounds with current world no. 7 CHENG I-Cheng (win-loss record 4-0). Actual no. 2 seed Berlin enters knock out phase with 3 wins in four rounds.
The 2016 ETTU Cup Women winner CP Lyssois Lille Metropole welcomes no. 3 seed Dr. Casl, one of three unbeaten teams so far. Coach of Croatian side TIAN Yuan emphasized that her team targets Seamaster ECLW final:
“Our big wish is to reach the final, so we must play our best table tennis against Lille Metropole. As a former Pro A player in France, I am fully aware of their strength. I appreciate Lille, but I expect our win”.
Dr. Casl`s player FU Yu, 2016 ITTF-European championships runner-up, believes that his side is able to continue winning streak from group stage:
“We have well balanced team and that is our advantage against them. However, we must give our 100 % and show that we are more willing and better”.
Actual ETTU Cup Women winner Bursa travels to France to face Saint Quentionis. Team manager of host team Jean-Louis POLARD is commenting the upcoming clash:
"For the third season in a row, TT Saint-Quentin qualified for the ECLW quarter-finals. But this season, being seeded No.8, the team is theoretically the weakest one. It will be very difficult to go further up as we are competing against 2017 ETTU Cup Winner, Bursa BB. They seem to be even stronger than last season with LEE Ho Chin (WR No.12) from Hong Kong and 2016 European Champion HU Melek. But the home match will still be interesting.”
Two-time Seamaster ECLW champion Linz will play against no. 1 seed and double runner-up in a row Tarnobrzeg. President of Austrian club Günther RENNER has stated:
“It`s early in this year’s Champions League to meet a team with a level like Tarnobrzeg has. We have small chance in this game but this chance we want to use... On the other side we know how hard it can be if you are the absolute favorite and with the designated European champion, the multi medalist PAVLOVICH, the Olympic silver medalist HAN Ying plus LI Quian who has not lost a single set in this season. Only the team from Dr. Casl is on the paper equal with the Polish team. Maybe this is one of the best teams ever, so it will be much more fun to play against them and even more if we can tease them a little bit to get nervous.. But to be able to do so we need an extraordinary day, that’s clear.
Seamaster ECLW Quarter-finals, first leg
Szekszard AC - TTC Berlin Eastside (Jan 26, 18:00)
CP LYSSOIS LILLE METROPOLE - Dr. Časl (Jan 26, 19:00)
TT SAINT QUENTINOIS - BURSA BÜYÜKŞEHİR BELEDİYESPOR (Jan 26, 19:30)
Linz AG Froschberg - KTS Tarnobrzeg (Jan 28, 16:00)