Favorites and the top four teams of Serie A1 after 18 rounds – Pro Recco, Brescia, Savona and Ortigia – advanced to the semifinals of the Italian Cup.
The Final Eight of the 31st edition of “Coppa Italia” started in Genoa today.
Pro Recco secured a spot in the semifinals with an easy win over Telimar (18:5). Savona showed no mercy to host Quinto (11:4)
The other two games weren’t lopsided contests.
Brescia qualified for the semifinals with a 12:8 win over Trieste . Everything was open until the middle of the fourth period. Ortigia beat Posillipo 15:11 in a similar game.
Saturday – Semifinals 1st – 4th place: Pro Recco – Savona, Ortigia – Brescia; Semifinals 5th – 8th place: Posillipo – Trieste, Telimar – Quinto
Pro Recco – Telimar 18:5 (6:2, 2:1, 6:1, 4:1)
Pro Recco: Younger 4, Echenique 3, Zalanki 3, Di Fulvio 2, Cannella 2, Fondelli 1, N.Presciutti 1 Ivovic 1, Aicardi 1.
Telimar: Del Basso 2, Gilberti 2, Irving 1.
For the second time this season, Pro Recco ran over Telimar. A month and a half ago, the European champion recorded a 13:5 victory in a league match in Palermo. Today, Recco was more convincing. Telimar started bravely. The Sicilians took the lead twice in the first two minutes (1:0 and 2:1). Recco didn’t wait long to build a big lead. The European champion produced a 6:0 run and earned a 7:2 advantage early in the second quarter. The favorite maintained the difference until the middle break. Recco started dominating again in the third quarter and secured a big win.
Brescia – Trieste 12:8 (4:3, 1:1, 3:2, 4:2)
Brescia: E. Di Somma 3, Gitto 3, Renzuto Iodice 2, Kharkov 2, Dolce 1, Alesiani 1.
Trieste: Podgornik 2, Buljubasic 2, Mladossich 2, Bego 1, Inaba 1.
Brescia defeated Trieste in the derby of the quarterfinals. Still, Brescia, the leader of the Champions League Group B, needed a lot of time to secure a safe distance in the game against the LEN Euro Cup semifinalist. Brescia dictated the pace in the first quarter. Konstantin Kharkov gave the favorite a 4:1 lead in the 8th minute. But, Trieste netted two goals in the last 27 seconds of the first period and reduced the gap to one (3:4). In the 12th minute, Bego leveled at 4:4 by converting a man-up. Brescia regained a slim lead two minutes after (Gitto scored from a 6 on 5).
At the beginning of the third quarter, Vincenzo Renzuto Iodice made it 6:4. Brescia controlled the match, but Trieste didn’t surrender. In the 25th minute, Gitto scored for 9:6. Podgornik responded immediately (7:9). Brescia finally broke the rival with a 3:0 run between the 28th and 31st minute. It scored three goals within 93 seconds and went to 12:7.
Both teams had poor percentages of extra-player shots. Still, the goals after personal fouls made the difference. Brescia converted four man-ups (4/10) and scored two goals from penalty shots. Trieste’s man-up conversion was 2/15, while it didn’t have opportunities from the 5m line.
Savona – Quinto 11:4 (2:2, 3:1, 2:0, 4:1)
Savona: Patchaliev 3, Campopiano 3, Giovanetti 1, Caldieri 1, Bruni 1, Djurdjic 1, Lanzoni 1.
Iren Quinto Genova: A.Di Somma 1, Nora 1, Figari 1.
Home team Iren Quinto couldn’t surprise Savona. Quinto scored the first goal in the match and kept up with Savona in the first eight minutes. However, the semifinalist of the LEN Euro Cup didn’t leave any chance to the rival in the remaining three periods.
Ortigia – Posillipo 15:11 (4:2, 2:3, 5:3, 4:3)
Ortigia: F.Condemi 3, Rossi 3, Napolitano 2, A.Condemi 2, Ferrero 2, Cassia 1, Di Luciano 1, Velkic 1
Posillipo: Mattiello 3, Stevenson 2, Iodice 1, Abramson 1, Picca 1, J.Lanfranco 1, Briganti 1, Saccoia 1.
Last month, Ortigia had a very demanding task in a league match in Naples, but it beat Posilllipo (9:7). Today, the Naples-based side proved that it could be a tough opponent and that it had improved its shape since the start of the season. However, the favorite advanced to the semifinals.
Ortigia got off to an excellent start. After less than three minutes, the Sicilians led 3:0. But, Posillipo was able to come back. The team from Naples was reducing the gap step-by-step and trailed by a goal at halftime (5:6).
Briganti equalized in Posillipo’s first possession in the second half (6:6). Ortigia regained the lead shortly after (7:6). Posillipo went ahead in the middle of the third quarter (8:7). Still, Ortigia took control in the following minutes. The Sicilians scored four unanswered goals by the end of the third period (11:7). In the middle of the final period, Ortigia had a 6-goal advantage (14:8) and there was no dilemma about which team would play in the semifinals.