January 26, 2023
There will be 8 matches in the BHL this weekend. Six matches will take place in Latvia and another two in Estonia. As the regular season draws to a close, many of the matches will be crucial for the teams fighting for a spot in the play-offs.
The TOP match will be between the Latvian and Lithuanian champions – ZRHK TENAX Dobele and VHC Šviesa. Only one point separates the two rivals in the Group B standings. VHC Šviesa ranks 3rd with 9 points and Dobele ranks 4th with 8 points. In the first head-to-head match of the season, VHC Šviesa defeated ZRHK TENAX Dobele with a result of 34:28.
Sandris Veršakovs (coach, ZRHK TENAX Dobele):
I do not want to give any team the title of favourite. In my opinion, all teams in the BHL are competitive. I do not divide the teams into favourites and non-favourites, no matter their ranking. Playing at home is an advantage because you do not have to go anywhere and have the support of your fans. But the ball is round and it all depends on the handball players on the court. This weekend’s two games are very important for us because our main objective is to reach the play-offs. It does not matter whether we finish first or fourth in the group, the most important thing is to advance to the play-offs.
Žygimantas Sinkevičius (coach, VHC Šviesa):
This is a very important match for us. We have the same number of points as the Tapa team and are only one point ahead of Dobele. These three teams may be the ones who will decide our ranking in Group B. It is very hard to predict who the favourite is in this match. Dobele is a strong team, has a good goalkeeper and likes to play fast handball. Also, it is always hard to play in Dobele and the host team will have the home-court advantage.
The ASK Zemessardze team has a very important match in Group A. The Latvian team will play against the group leader Viljandi HC and the third-placed Mistra for a ticket to the play-offs.
Andris Ulāns (coach, ASK Zemessardze):
This is a crucial match for us in the fight for a play-off spot. Unfortunately, our two leaders are injured. Our top scorer Roberts Rancāns broke his hand in the last round and one of our main defenders Mārtiņš Stepuļenoks-Stukanovs have injured his back. We do not have a big rotation, and our substitutes are at a lower level than our main players. It is hard to expect that we will give a serious fight to the strong Estonian clubs without our leaders. It will be very hard. Of course, we will fight with all our might. We will not let our opponents expect an easy fight and think that we will give up even before the match.