Ochsenhausen vs. Borussia – new stage in old rivalryPhoto: majo-foto.de
First semi-final games of 2017/18 TTCLM to be held this Thursday and Friday (March 15-16th). – Orenburg takes seriously newcomer Sporting
First semi-final games of 2017/18 TTCLM will be held this Thursday and Friday (March 15-16th), confronting TTCLM newcomer Sporting Club De Portugal and reigning champion Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg (March 15th, 19:00) and two German clubs, TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen and Borussia Dusseldorf (March 16th, 19:00).
Ochsenhausen`s President Kristijan PEJINOVIC stressed for the club`s website that he is satisfied with this season so far, looking forward to the reprise of the 2009 TTCLM final. He believes that the hall will be sold-out, providing big support for the host side against Borussia. One of most intriguing questions is related with Simon GAUZY`s shape. Will he be able to deliver his usual contribution, bearing in mind his recent injury...
"Unfortunately that is not in our hands. He makes great progress, having two decisive points against good players against Bad Königshofen. Every day he works on his form - whether it will be enough for the final phase, we will have to wait and see."
PEJINOVIC believes that Ochsenhausen`s team spirit could provide an advantage in the upcoming matches:
"First of all, we are happy to be among the best four clubs in Europe. Despite strong individual players like Hugo CALDERANO, it's clear that we will succeed only as a team. The willingness of everyone to give their best for the team is there, and that's why we do not want to stop here in the semifinals. The team is young and hungry and shows this impressively from game to game. The chances are definitely there and we have to see in what condition our team will be, but also the Borussia including Timo BOLL."
Borussia has on its side actual World no. 1 Timo BOLL, but he was beaten recently by Ochsenhausen`s 21-year-old Hugo CALDERANO in five games of the Qatar Open Round 2.
"I hope I'll do a bit better on Friday and he'll play a bit worse," said Timo BOLL for Borussia`s website. "Then it can also be enough for a win again. For us Simon GAUZY is a big unknown, as we are not sure about his current shape. How good he really is at the moment, we'll see on Friday. Basically anyone from the Ochsenhausen`s team can score against any of us, that's what makes it so exciting. "
Borussia`s Manager Andreas PREUSS predicts tense fight:
“I currently do not see a real favorite. The only thing that's clear is that every set counts, because there's still a second leg."
Regarding other semi-final, Fakel-Gazprom Coach Viktor ANDREEV has emphasized that his side faces very strong opponent third time in the season, after 1-1 mutual score in the group stage:
“The upcoming fight is expected to be very tense and difficult, but all players of the Fakel-Gazprom club are determined to win”.
Sporting Team Manager Gonçalo CASTANHEIRA is delighted by the performances of his side so far, but he hopes that Joao MONTEIRO & Co. are capable for something bigger:
“Now everything is possible. We have achieved the goals required so we are with less pressure to be able to give the maximum game to game and to present our fantastic audience with highly emotive and spectacular games. Whatever happens now we “will never take the eyes off the ball”.
TTCLM Semi-finals, first game
Sporting Clube De Portugal – Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg (March 15th, 19:00)
TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen – Borussia Dusseldorf (March 16th, 19:00)