Recco are the first team to advance to Final 8 just after six rounds, although the Italians had to go through some tense times before they could secure a difficult victory over Marseille. Jug managed to find some ground after Recco’s humiliating loss on Tuesday and the Croats toppled Spandau, and Olympiacos also rebounded to beat Ortigia. In Group B, the three favorites all did an impeccable job, each with 12 points while the other three lag behind them by nine.
Group A, round 6: CN Marseille (FRA) v Pro Recco (ITA) 8-10, Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) 12-10, CC Ortigia (ITA) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 8-10
Ranking: 1. Recco 18, 2. Jug 15, 3. Olympiacos 9, 4. Marseille 4, 5. Spandau 4, 6. Ortigia 3
Group B, round 5: AN Brescia (ITA) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 19-11, Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) 4-11, Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE) v Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta 9 -12
Ranking: 1. Barceloneta 12, 2. Brescia 12, 3. Ferencvaros 12, 4. Hannover 3, 5. Jadran 3, 6. Dinamo 3
Less than 17 hours after beating rival Jug 18-3, Recco was back for a match with Marseille which marked the start of the second half of the preliminaries. In December, Recco had to dig deep to beat the French – he was 8-8 after three periods, but the Italians could pull it off in the end, a late goal from Aaron Younger secured their 11-9 victory. This time the game took a different path as Recco – who looked more powerful now than in winter – rushed to 3-7 at halftime. The third brought more fighting for a while and only one Marseille goal until the last minute when three goals came in the final 44 seconds and Recco held on 5-9.
However, the last period saw a nice push from the French as they managed to rule out Recco by killing three men down and making three men – and with 2:10 to go it was 8-9. . Dejan Lazic was amazing, made five consecutive saves (he had 11 in total, Marko Bijac in Recco’s goal was less efficient this time, he was 5/13), so Marseille had to have possessions to go even but no couldn’t take a shot. As of either and 27 seconds of time, it was again younger who secured Recco’s victory. It was a strange situation, the shot clock turned down but the French looked for the counter and left the ball behind – a turnover foul was called and the Australian was able to beat Lazovic with ease.