06 & 07 December 2013: Men´s European Champions League
The fourh round of the Men´s European Champions League dictated the elimination of Borussia Dusseldorf and Eslov AI from the competition and the qualification of ASTT Chartres, SVS Niederosterrech and Gazproma Orenburg to the Quarter-Finals.
In Group A, Angers Vailant received and lost, by three games to 2, to the European Champions League title holders, Gazproma Orenburg.
In the last round of the group stage the french club will play against Ochsenhausen and the winner of the match will qualify to the quarter-finals.
ANGERS VAILLANT vs GAZPROMA ORENBURG 2-3
Panagiotis Gionis vs Vladimir Samsonov 3:2 (11:4, 5:11, 11:7, 4:11, 11:6)
Benjamin Brossier vs Dimitrij Ovtcharov 1:3 (11:8, 8:11, 12:14, 9:11)
Michel Martinez vs Alexey Smirnov 0:3 (8:11, 3:11, 8:11)
Panagiotis Gionis vs Dimitrij Ovtcharov 3:2 (15:13, 13:11, 6:11, 6:11, 11:9)
Benjamin Brossier vs Vladimir Samsonov 1:3 (16:18, 11:7, 6:11, 8:11)
Despite the loss against the current European Champions, the french team is still in good position to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.
Their last match of the group stage will be held in Germany, against Ochsenhausen, and it will determine the second team that will be qualified to the quarter-finals. (Gazproma Orenburg secured already the qualification and the first place in the group)
The MVP of the match was Panagiotis Gionis - The elegant greek "defender", is enjoying a fine moment of form and the victories against Vladimir Samsonov and D. Ovtcharov are indicative of this.
In Group B, the focus is on the victory of AS Pontoise Cergy at the home of UMMC - With this result the french club assumed the 1st position of the group and put the pressure on Saarbrucken´s and UMMC shoulders.
ESLOV AI vs SAARBRUCKEN 1-3
Robert Svensson vs Tiago Apolónia 3:1 (11:9, 11:9, 9:11, 11:6)
Kasper Sternberg vs Bastian Steger 1:3 (6:11, 11:6, 8:11, 6:11)
Mattias Oversjo vs Bojan Tokic 0:3 (3:11, 4:11, 2:11)
Robert Svensson vs Bastian Steger 1:3 (6:11, 8:11, 11:9, 7:11)
UMMC VS AS PONTOISE CERGY 1-3
Jun Mizutani vs Marcos Freitas 2:3 (11:7, 7:11, 7:11, 11:9, 7:11)
Alexander Shibaev vs Wang Jian Jun 3:1 (14:12, 10:12, 11:6, 11:9)
Tan Rui Wu vs Kristian Karlsson 0:3 (6:11, 6:11, 10:12)
Jun Mizutani vs Wang Jian Jun 2:3 (10:12, 4:11, 12:10, 11:8, 4:11)
AS Pontoise Cergy opened the door of the quarter-finals with an extraordinary victory in Russia against UMMC.
Marcos Freitas gave the perfect start to his team defeating Jun Mizutani by 3-2.
Alexander Shibaev leveled the match defeating the former chinese national champion Wang Jianjun by 3-1.
The third match of the evening marked the biggest surprise of the match with Kristian Karlsson defeating the experienced Tan Ruiwu in straight sets.
Finally, in the last match of the evening, Jun Mizutani lost to Wang Jianjun by 3-2 and AS Pontoise Cergy sealed the victory.
It seems obvious now that AS Pontoise will qualify to the Quarter-Finals and Saarbrucken or UMMC will be out of the next stage.
In Group C, Werder Bremen defeated SPG Walter Wels by three games to nil and they are now in excellent position to reach the quarter-finals but everything is still open in this group.
SPG WALTER WELS vs WERDER BREMEN 0-3
Zhan Jian vs Adrian Crisan 2:3 (8:11, 11:8, 9:11, 13:11, 9:11)
Zolt Pete vs Chuang Chih-Yuan 0:3 (10:12, 9:11, 4:11)
Lehel Demeter vs Constantin Cioti 1:3 (10:12, 11:3, 9:11, 9:11)
The german champions got revenged from the opening round match and this time defeated SPG Walter Wels in straight games, assuming the first place in the group.
Zhan Jian lost his first match of the competition against Adrian Crisan by 3-2.
Zolte Pete lost naturally to Chuang Chih-Yuan and Lehel Demeter lost very close to Constantin Cioti.
In Group D, Borussia Dusseldorf was unable to defeat SVS Niederosterrech and mortgaged the possibility of passing to the next round - ASTT Chartres and SVS Niederosterreich will now fight for the first place in the group.
BORUSSIA DUSSELDORF vs SVS NIEDEROSTERREICH 0-3
Timo Boll vs Daniel Habesohn 2:3 (5:11, 5:11, 11:5, 12:10, 4:11)
Patrick Baum vs Weixing Chen 1:3 (12:14, 11:9, 7:11, 9:11)
Sharath Kamal vs Stefan Fegerl 0:3 (9:11, 5:11, 6:11)
Third match, third defeat for the super team of Dusseldorf!
In a group formed by three of the best european clubs we could guess some difficulties for the multi german champion, but nobody could expect two defeats by three games to nil when you have on the team Timo Boll, Patrick Baum, Sharath Kamal and Ricardo Walter. (Christian Suss is still recovering from his injury problems)
It was another disastrous campaign for Borussia Dusseldorf that stays out of the quarter-finals for the second year in a row.
(Photo: Zhan Jian, SPG Walter Wels)