April 16, 2023
The Baltic Handball League championship 2022/23 is over. Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian clubs shared the medals in the Final Four in Põlva. The defending champion Viljandi HC and the champions of all three countries – Estonia’s Põlva Serviti, Latvia’s ZRHK TENAX Dobele and Lithuania’s VHC Šviesa – played in the final four.
Two Estonian clubs – Põlva Serviti and Viljandi HC met in the final like last year. Põlva Serviti led during the whole match. The hosts of the final four won the first half 15:11. Põlva Serviti gained the biggest lead in the 43rd minute, 24:16. Viljandi HC reduced the gap only at the end of the match. Põlva Serviti won the final 27:24.
Põlva Serviti became the champion of the Baltic Handball League for the third time in the club’s history. Põlva Serviti won the BHL league in 2008 and 2010.
Põlva Serviti – Viljandi HC 27:24 (15:11)
Põlva Serviti – Timmo 6, Rooba 5, Sillaste 4, Hiiend 3, Kase 3, Varul 3, Chezlov 3.
Viljandi HC – Koks 10, Ott Varik 6, Basarab 3, Voika 2, Mikk Varik 1, Koovit 1, Maassalu 1.
Kalmer Musting (coach, Põlva Serviti):
We won a solid victory. We played more stable in the final than in the semi-final. In the final, we led in every game by at least a couple of goals, avoided holes in the game and avoided the pressure of the opponents. At the end of the match we did not avoid mistakes and allowed the opponents to reduce the difference. The result is very good and we are very happy. Big thanks to the fans. The atmosphere in the arena was very good and that helped us a lot. We became champions after a long break. Congratulations to our long-time players Henri Sillaste and Eston Varusk who also became champions of the Baltic League in 2010.
Alfred Timmo (player, Põlva Serviti):
Good defense and counter attacks led to victory. We felt that we had more energy than our opponents. Our fans were the 8th man on court! Really great to see the full hall and all the fans screaming and rooting.
Marko Koks (coach, Viljandi HC):
We lost because we were tired. We played our third game in 5 days. We didn’t make free throws from the 6-meter line. We let our opponents get ahead. We played better in the second half but we didn’t have enough time to catch up with our opponents. The team fought until the end. We kept the intrigue until the end of the game. We were helped a lot by the fans, many of whom came from Viljandi. There was a great atmosphere in the arena. It was a good match. The match deserve the name of the final.
Kristo Voika (player, Viljandi HC):
It was a great fight. Põlva Serviti started the game better but we never lost hope. In the Finals simple mistakes cost a lot, we made a couple more than Põlva! It was nice to see so many people on the stands and I would like to thank our amazing fans! The atmosphere was epic!
Twelve teams played in the Baltic League this season: five from Estonia, four from Lithuania and three from Latvia. The Baltic Handball League tournament was held for the first time in 1992.