BHL Quarter-Finals: Latvian Champions Dobele vs. Lithuanian Championship Prize Winner Dragūnas

March 16, 2023

BHL Quarter-Finals: Latvian Champions Dobele vs. Lithuanian Championship Prize Winner Dragūnas

The BHL play-offs begin. The first quarter-final matches will be played on 18–19 March, and on 25 March to determine the final four teams.

The 2021 BHL champion Dragūnas Klaipėda will face the Latvian champion ZRHK TENAX Dobele in the quarter-finals. In the regular season, the ZRHK TENAX Dobele team won 14 points in 10 games and finished 2nd in Group B. Dragūnas won 12 points and finished 3rd in Group A. In the last season of the BHL, Dragūnas made it to the final four, while ZRHK TENAX Dobele did not overcome the quarter-final barrier.

Sandris Veršakovs (coach, ZRHK TENAX Dobele):

We have had the goal of reaching the BHL final four for several seasons now. We reach the play-offs every time, but we have always failed to make it to the final four. This season, we will try to achieve our goal again. I do not want to pick any team as a favourite for the quarter-finals. Quarter-finals are very different from regular season matches and the preparation for them is completely different. I have been watching Dragūnas games and I can say that they are a fast team and play a lot of one-on-one games. I think it will be a tough match. The good thing is that we will play the second leg at home, so we have a bit of an advantage. But the first game in Klaipėda will also make a difference. Fan support at home is important for us. We expect to have a full sports hall. But it also feels good to play away with a big crowd in the stands.

Gintaras Cibulskis (coach, Dragūnas Klaipėda):

I do not know which one is better – playing the first match at home or away. If you lose by 15 goals away, it is almost impossible to catch up with the opponents in the second leg. And if you play better at home in the first game, it will be easier in the second leg. So it is difficult to predict. We want to make it to the final four, just like last year. We show a good play. Members of the Lithuanian national team returned to the club in high spirits after their win against Georgia. This is very important for the team spirit. But the match against Dobele will be a serious challenge. The opponents play modern handball. They have a strong team with both young and experienced players. Our strength is that we can play faster because we have more young players. However, it is harder to predict which team is stronger in a positional attack.

The first match between Dragūnas and ZRHK TENAX Dobele will take place on 18 March at 14:00 at the BVC sports hall in Klaipėda.