13.03.2017 10:16 Uhr - Baltic Handball League - PR BHL

Baltic Handball League: The first Final Four team is SKA Minsk

Experienced Ivan Brouka led SKA Minsk once again to the Final4 of the Baltic Handball LeagueExperienced Ivan Brouka led SKA Minsk once again to the Final4 of the Baltic Handball League
Quelle: sportseye.de
Baltic Handball League`s quarter-finals are on the way and the first Final Four participant is alread known - SKA Minsk defeated Tenax Dobele over two quarter-finals with an aggregate score of 73:49. In the other quarter-final, which started past weekend, nothing is decided, as HC Kehra/Horizon Pulp&Paper took only a minimal advantage over Serviti Põlva by 27-26. The remaining five the quarter-final matches will be played this week, starting on Friday.

Belarussians made it to top four for fifth consecutive season

Three-time winners SKA secured their place among the four best teams relatively easily by taking a 9-goal advantage in the first game and then making it sure with a 15-goal win on the following day. SKA had also defeated Tenax in the same phase of the competition last season.

In the opening match of the quarter-final stage Tenax fought well in the first half and kept SKA at a certain distance, losing it 12-16. At the start of the second half, SKA"s Uladzislau Kulesh and Vadim Gayduchenko, supported by veteran Ivan Brouka guided Belarussians to a more secure lead and by the end SKA took a 34-25 victory (Gayduchenko 10 - Ansis Bilkštis 8 goals).

On Sunday, it was more clear. SKA ran away to a 18-9 half-time lead, claimed the second win by 39-24 (Aliaksandr Padshyvalau 7 - Intars Jomants 6) and qualified for the Final Four for the fifth consecutive season.

Kehra took a minimal advantage in Estonian derby

The opening leg of the all-Estonian quarter-final was nothing like the SKA - Tenax matches. "Old enemies" put up a great fight in Kehra and everything will be decided next Saturday in Põlva. The visitors made a better start, had a 4-goal lead, but the end of the first half belonged to Kehra and at half-time they had a 15-12 lead.

"All worked well, our game plan clicked immediately, but midway through the first half it all fall apart. We could not score and opponents hit us with quick counter-attacks. Both goalkeepers were excellent, especially in the first half," explained Serviti`s head coach Kalmer Musting, while praising his own goalkeeper Eston Varusk and Kehra"s Mikola Naum for their performances.

Early in the second half, Kehra already had a 5-goal lead, but Serviti fought back, despite missing 4 out of 5 penalty throws in the match. With ten seconds to go, Serviti cut the deficit to a minimum, leaving all open before the return leg next Saturday. Marko Slastinovski scored 8 goals for the winners, while Henri Sillaste was Serviti"s best with 6.

"We had a terrible start, but improved greatly. However, we cannot be happy with just one-goal win, as there were possibilities for a much bigger one," commented Priit Pajus, who replaced Indrek Lillsoo as Kehra"s head coach for this match. "Naum had a great game in goal and I was happy Dmytro Yankovskiy returned from injury earlier than expected and helped us."



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