March 6, 2022
That’s it. The regular season of the Baltic Handball League has come to an end. 156 games have been played, and the six teams who will compete in the BHL playoffs have one aim in mind: to win.
There were three unknowns in the playoffs prior to this weekend. Four clubs were vying for the remaining spots in the playoffs, but only three were guaranteed to make it. Granitas Kaunas, Dragunas Klaipeda, and Tenax Dobele were the last to board the playoff train. With their victories on Saturday, the latter Lithuanian clubs moved to the play-offs, while the Latvian club Dobele took care of everything on the final day of the campaign. Dobele defeated Estonian team SK Tapa to progress past HC Vilnius to the next round.
The quarter-finals will be played on March 26-27 and April 2-3. The Final Four will be held on April 23-24
SK Tapa – ZRHK Tenax Dobele | 34:42 (14:21)
Aleksandr Oganezov (Tapa):
Today’s game was quite open on both sides. A lot of goals were scored. Unfortunately, we conceded more. Too many, even. You can’t win games when you let the opponents score an average of around 30 goals every game. Also this season, we have struggled with scoring percentage. So we know what needs to be improved. We are still a young and ambitious team and would like to achieve more. This weekend proved that we are on the right track by giving the top teams from Latvia and Lithuania a run for their money. Sure, there were some highlighted players today, but I would like to appreciate the efforts of the whole team. We are already looking forward to next season!
Uldis Jansons (Dobele):
The game today for the team overall was pretty good. We won the game and took 2 points, which we needed so much to qualify for the next round. The guys gave everything they had; they fought with 100%. For me, the second half was a total disaster. Luckily, our second goalkeeper, Ritvars Putra, went into the game pretty well. Overall, we are happy to go further. Time to focus on the next games.
SK Tapa – Saar 9, Oolup 9, Berezhnyi 4.
Dobele – Juzups 9, Pančenko 7, Arajs 6.
|5||2 MIN SUSPENSIONS||2|
Viljandi HC – HC Dragunas Klaipeda | 29:22 (15:9)
Marko Koks (Viljandi):
The situation is the same as it was yesterday, and the problem is the same. We wanted to win the regular season and we managed on defence in both games. I think it was the key to the win. Now we made it and can start thinking about F4.
Viljandi – Pertelson 5, Voika 5, Ruut 4.
Dragunas – Savicius 6, Hlushak 5, Simonavicius 4.
|4||2 MIN SUSPENSIONS||2|
Raasiku/Mistra – SK Latgols Ludza | 38:27 (18:11)
Raasiku – Žigadlo 5, Aus 5, Vare 5.
Latgols – Mikijanskis 6, Lipskis 6, Usāns 6.
|4||2 MIN SUSPENSIONS||4|
Varsa-Stronglasas Alytus – HC Kehra/Horizon Pulp&Paper | 25:25 (12:14)
Rytis Cipkus (Varsa):
We kept our position. We didn’t want to drop to ninth place, so the goal is pretty much achieved. Today we gave more to the youngsters to play with; it was a tough, viscous match. We could have won, but it is what it is. Overall, the Baltic League season has been tough; a lot of games, a lot of away games, a lot of physical strength.
Danil Gumyanov (Kehra):
First half we managed to beat goalkeeper and get some good positsion goals. Second half we had some problems with scoring because goalkeeper stood his ground well. We’re still happy because we finished our Baltic Handball League with positive vibe – one win and one draw.
Varsa – Buronko 8, Eidukonis 8, Adamkevičius 2.
Kehra – Seermann 7, Gumianov 5, Barouski 4.
|2||2 MIN SUSPENSIONS||2|
Granitas-Karys Kaunas – Põlva Serviti | 19:30 (8:14)
Andrius Montvilas (Granitas):
It’s hard to compete when you are short on players. We only had a few substitutions. Our opponents, on the other hand, had a full squad. So I think that’s what made the big difference.
Ülljo Pihus (Polva):
It is a totally different game from yesterday. We were confident in defence and the goalkeepers helped us. Granitas missed some key players today, so I think they got a little bit tired and we managed to force our high-paced game and got some easy fast breaks. This game pretty much didn’t matter if we looked at the table, so we played without pressure. The good thing is that our young players got some valuable game time.
Granitas – Pijus 6, Kairys 3, Rinkevičius 3.
Polva – Pihus 6, Rebane 5, Sarapuu 4.
|4||2 MIN SUSPENSIONS||4|