March 28, 2022
The play-offs have started in the Baltic Handball League. In the quarter-finals, Dragunas Klaipeda met Granitas Kaunas, while Tenax Dobele hosted VHC Sviesa.
Defending champions Dragunas started the quarter-finals with a convincing victory. Already in the first period, the Klaipeda team, playing at home, gained a 5-goal lead over Granitas. In the second period, the hosts increased their lead even more. Dragunas gained a 7-goal advantage (31:24) before the return match.
In the other quarter-final, the Lithuanian champions, VHC Sviesa handball team, defeated Tenax Duobele Dobele in Latvia. The visitors had a six-goal lead after the first period, did not squander it, and before the 2nd QF match will have a five-goal lead (32:27).
The 2nd leg of the quarter-final will be played on April 2nd.
HC Dragunas Klaipeda – Granitas-Karys Kaunas | 31:24 (15:10)
Gintaras Cibulskis (coach, Dragunas):
We have gained a good lead, but this is only the first half of the quarter-finals and everything will be decided by the return match in Kaunas. In the second half, we missed a few more good chances. We could have done better and built up an even bigger lead. But there is no need to “drive God up a tree.” A seven-goal lead is really good. We will have to keep our cool and keep the lead in Kaunas.
Vaidotas Grosas (coach, Granitas):
Both the result and the image on the pitch were disappointing. Perhaps the three weeks without a game have knocked us off our feet. The game didn’t stick, neither in attack nor in defence. We even lacked desire, something we had never lacked before. It’s just an unrecognisable team and unrecognisable players. We have a week to turn things around, and we will have to show a different face at home. We will be looking for revenge because we can not play two games in a row so badly.
Dragunas – Hlushak 7, Simonavičius 7, Naghavialhosseini 5.
Granitas – Lazauskas 6, Kairys 4, Jovaišas 4.
|3||2 MIN SUSPENSIONS||4|
ZRHK Tenax Dobele – VHC Šviesa Vilnius | 27:32 (8:14)
Antons Šuleiko (Dobele):
We had a bad start with 0:9. If we had started with 5:9 or 6:9, maybe we would have been hooked. I think the break had a lot to do with the fact that we didn’t have a match. But, of course, it’s just a write-off. Maybe we couldn’t. We knew we could do it, but this time we didn’t. Our minus in this game is that we didn’t score, and our plus is that we played until the end and did everything to prevent the opponents from scoring. The whole Vilnius team caused problems in this match. I wouldn’t name any individual players. We’ll see in a week’s time what the second match will be like.
Eimantas Sinkevičius (Sviesa):
Overall, it was a great match. The whole game plan seems to have worked. The defence was really good, the offense could be better, but the most important thing is the win and the five-goal lead before the second game.
Dobele – Kreicbergs 5, Arajs 5, Miķelsons 4.
Sviesa – Sinkevičius 7, Plėta 6, Ugianskis 5.
|5||2 MIN SUSPENSIONS||4|