GD Toledos on the Final with Sporting CPPhoto: Rita TABORDA
GD Toledos, team from the Azorean island of Pico, secured this Friday the place in the final of the Portuguese Men's National Championship of the 1st Division by beating GDCS Juncal by 3-0, in the 2nd leg of the semi-final played at the Vila Nova de Gaia High Performance Center. In the first leg, held on Thursday, Toledos recorded a 3-0 victory.
The final will be played against Sporting CP, the team that finished in the 1st place in the regular phase of the Championship, on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 04:00 PM.
Sporting is the club with the highest number of national titles, 36 in total, and is currently four-time champion. He is the holder of the National Championship, Portuguese Cup and José Manuel Amaro Super Cup.
Toledos has four national champion titles.
The games are all broadcast live on the television channels “A Bola TV” and RTP Açores and on the Federation's Facebook and Youtube pages. The finals will also be broadcast live on the Facebook pages of the European (ETTU) and international (ITTF) federations.
Énio Mendes, GD Toledos player said: “It is very important to achieve the goal we set at the beginning of the Final Phase and it is always good to be in a final against Sporting. In today's game, I know Saheed well, because we played in the same team for the last four years, ADC Ponta do Pargo. I had never played against him, but as we played together for four years, the game was more balanced and more difficult. The game becomes more tactical.”
Boboye Oyenyan, GD Toledos player added: “It was a difficult game, because he managed to put a lot of good balls on the table. The semi-final was easier than we expected, because the opponent has a good team.”
Diogo Silva, GD Toledos coach and athlete said: “I tried to begin the match focused and with the same motivation. I got it in the first set but then in the second I lost my focus and I didn't play well and lost that set. Then I tried to regain confidence and motivation and to stay focused on the game and the other two sets went much better. The semi-finals went very well, both yesterday and today. We started the game very well, with a very good attitude and we managed to record a very important victory yesterday. Today, I already knew that there would be less pressure for the players, because we only needed three sets to guarantee the final. So, things got a little complicated, but we managed to counteract that relaxation and get a 3-0 victory, which was very good.
We know that we have a very difficult task against a super Sporting, who has a very strong team, with world-class player , such as Quadri Aruna who is a player in the top 20 in the World. Diogo Carvalho is from the National Team and Bode Abiodun is also part of the Nigeria Team. They have three very strong players and it will be very difficult. In the regular phase we lost both games by 4-0 and we know it will be very difficult, but in sport there is nothing impossible and we will try to fight and make a good result.”
Bruno Silva, GDCS Juncal coach admitted: “Yesterday's game greatly affected our performance today. Today we managed to be a little better, but it was extremely difficult to overcome the opponent. Congratulations to Toledos. Today the team had to be perfect, we couldn’t make any mistakes, and from the moment that Saheed resolves the issue in the first game, from then on it was just to stick to the schedule. It was already resolved and there was nothing more to do.”
GDCS Juncal, 3 – GD Toledos, 0
Venue: Centro de Alto Rendimento de Vila Nova de Gaia
Umpires: Francisco Rocha / Serafim Mendes (Oporto)
Idowu Saheed, 1 – Énio Mendes, 3 (8-11, 11-8, 12-14, 6-11)
Andrei Bukin, 1 – Diogo Silva, 2 (6-11, 11-9, 4-11, 6-11)
David Bessa, 1 – Boboye Oyenyan, 3 (13-11, 9-11, 10-12, 8-11)
GD Toledos coach: Diogo Silva
GDCS Juncal coach: Bruno Silva