The Baltic Handball League (BHL) championship 2021-2022 is over. Lithuanian and Estonian clubs shared the medals in the Final Four in Viljandi.
The semi-final duels take place on 23 April. Both semi-finals were played between Estonian and Lithuanian clubs.
In the first semi-final, regular-season champion and Final Four host Viljandi HC defeated Dragunas Klaipeda 30:26. The contest got off to a good start for both clubs, with both battling toe-to-toe. The hosts, on the other hand, went into the halftime break with a 4-goal lead. When the teams returned from the break, the game was once again quite close. The visitors from Klaipeda were able to narrow the distance to a bare minimum, but after one of Dragunas’ players was suspended for two minutes, the opponents pushed away and won the game.
The other semi-final between the Lithuanian and Estonian champions was decided by a single goal. Polva Serviti, the strongest Estonian team, defeated Lithuanian champions VHC Sviesa 27:26. The Estonians had a better start to the game, but by the second period, the Lithuanians had taken the lead and led by two goals. Polva Serviti won the match by a razor-thin margin in a dramatic finish.
The first day of the Final Four determined that Dragunas Klaipeda, last year’s champions, and VHC Sviesa, will compete for third place. Meanwhile, the final will feature two Estonian clubs, Viljandi HC and Polva Serviti.
3RD PLACE GAME
HC Dragunas Klaipeda – VHC Sviesa Vilnius | 30:37 (10:22)
Gintaras Cibulskis (coach, Dragunas):
It was an unrecognisable team. As a coach and even as a player, I’ve never experienced such a start to a game in my entire career. It is an unforgivable and very disappointing game. It is disrespectful to the spectators, who only saw us pull the ball out of the net. It is also disrespectful to the opponents, who knew they were going to win in the tenth minute of the game. It looks like we got up from the Easter table and came to play. I really hope that men will look in the mirror and draw the right conclusions. Our play in the semi-final yesterday and today was like night and day. We had not a bad season in the Baltic League and surprised a lot of opponents with such a young squad to reach the Final Four. I hope that the last game will be just a bad exception before the upcoming Lithuanian Championship playoffs.
Giedrius Morkunas (Sviesa):
Our strong defense in the first half allowed us to pull away from our opponents, and this advantage proved decisive in our triumph. Our defense kept our opponents from creating good chances and shooting from favorable positions, and it was just another easy day at the office for me. Our opponent’s bench is shorter than ours, and we encourage quick play. As a result, when you can defend effectively, you may attack rapidly, and the game becomes more open. When we do that, it’s quite difficult to stop us.
Dragunas – Hlushak 8, Draksas 4, Butkus 4.
Sviesa – Ugianskis 7, Sinkevičius 6, Plėta 5.
|2||2 MIN SUSPENSIONS||4|
Viljandi HC – Polva Serviti | 28:21 (14:9)
Uljo Pihus (Polva):
Today we struggled to score goals. Rasmus Ots made good saves in their goal, and that was the difference today. We had to intense games during the weekend and it was a joy to play in front of such crowd. Congratulations to Viljandi! They played well.
Viljandi – Koks 8, O.Varik 5, Voika 3.
Polva – Sillaste 6, Kase 4, Sarapuu 3.
|6||2 MIN SUSPENSIONS||5|
FINAL FOUR MVP – Rasmus Ots (Viljandi HC)
BHL TOP SCORER – Aleksandr Patsykailik (HK Ogre) – 179 goals.
ALL-STAR TEAM OF THE SEASON:
LW – Henri Sillaste (Põlva Serviti)
LB – Vaidas Drevinskas (HC Vilnius)
CB – Kristo Voika (Viljandi HC)
RB – Nedas Buronko (Varsa-Stronglasas Alytus)
RW – Ott Varik (Viljandi HC)
PV – Martynas Lapinskas (HC Vilnius)
GK – Lukas Gurskis (Granitas-Karys Kaunas)