The finals of the Men’s Water Polo National Championship 2018 in Portugal begin tomorrow. On Thursday, Fluvial Portuense and Naval Povoense will open the championship at 17:00, at Fluvial’s pool.
Fluvial Portuense v Naval Povoense
These finals will be a treat to watch. On the one hand, we have Fluvial Portuense, who won the last two seasons of the national championship, revalidating their tile. On the other, there is Naval Povoense, who still has no bigger significance in the first League. Whenever the two teams met — twice in the National Championship and in the semi-finals of the Portuguese Cup — Fluvial was always the better team, although all matches were marked by a great balance between the teams.
Alfonso Merino, Fluvial Portuense’s coach commented:
“We believe it will be a very balanced final because Povoense managed to overcome the problems in the first leg and showed good results, ensuring their advance in the Championship. They are really motivated due to their success of coming to the finals.
Fluvial will, therefore, have to be very focused and, in our opinion, the final result will be influenced by this important factor. If we achieve the necessary concentration, victory is ours. As for my experience with the Fluvial and the Portuguese League in general, I remember that I arrived in September and in October we had to prepare for important competitions. The Champions League and the Super Cup forced us to think short-termed and we managed to fulfill the expectations.
Now I can say that I already know the club well and all the players of various levels — from really young ones to those who’s been here for long. We can thus develop long-term work and improve in all categories. I have to remind that we are working hard to develop our female sector.
Currently, the positive results of our senior teams are very important because they motivate the youngest players to pursue their careers in water polo. We may require a certain level of training, commitment and results to raise the level of play in the club and in the national team.”
Miguel Mariani, Naval Povoense’s coach said:
“This will be the first match of the finals we want to win. We are prepared and committed to achieving our goal, which is why we worked the way we did this year.
We had intense semi-finals and now we know that this level of intensity will only increase. Being confident is our only way to respond to this challenge. We focus on playing good water polo and hope that the finals will be great, both inside and outside of the pool. There is pride in bringing Povoense to the senior championship for the first time and we will try to get the title.”
The champion will be decided by the best of three matches. The second game is on Saturday, at 21:00, at Senhora da Hora. Follow the live score!