Let’s start round 18! This week, we will enjoy the first TV broadcast from Gdynia, the return of PGE VIVE Kielce to the Superleague and five games for four points. It is going to be spectacular.
Spójnia Gdynia – MMTS Kwidzyn
This will be the first game of Spójnia Gdynia in 2018 and the first TV broadcast on Canal + Sport from the hosts’ town. The Tricity team has already triumphed twice this season: once against Meble Wójcik Elbląg and once against Sandra Spa Pogoń Szczecin. The currently rank eighth in the Blue Group. The team, led by the long-term representative of MMTS, Marcin Markuszewski, has lost its first game against Kwidzyn 32:27.
The whole Kwidzyn team has performed really well back then, with the following players being especially effective: Michał Peret – 6 goals; Paweł Genda, Marek Szpera, Adrian Nogowski and Maciej Pilitowski – 5 goals each. On the other side of the court, Robert Kamyszek scored eight goals for Spójnia, wreaking havoc in the Kwidzyn defence with his free-throw line shots. Oleksandr Kyrylenko and Yevgen Kravchenko also played good handball, scoring five and four goals, respectively.
Unfortunately for Kwidzyn, both of their shooters, Paweł Genda and Marek Szpera, have already left the team. As a result, coach Mroczkowski spent the break looking for new solutions for the team’s lineup problem. Damian Przytuła’s injury, as well as the absence of Kamil Krieger and Adrian Nogowski, both on leave due their performance in the January matches of the Polish national team, have surely not helped.
As a consequence, although MMTS seems to be the winner on paper, the performance of Kwidzyn in this game remains unknown. We should not forget that a victory in this match will bear significant consequences for both teams, with the winner scoring as many as four points.
Spójnia Gdynia – MMTS Kwidzyn (Tuesday) 23 January 2018, 6:15 PM at Canal + Sport
Stal Mielec – Energa MKS Kalisz
The beginning of the year can hardly be deemed successful for the team coached by Krzysztof Lipka and Tomasz Sondej, having started the Superleague rematch round with two losses, against Azoty Puławy and KPR Legionowo. In the first game, Stal – to everyone’s surprise – did not make it easy for Azoty and were very close to causing a real sensation. However, in their second match against Legionowo, the team lost heavily to KPR 31:23.
Kalisz, the league’s newcomer, has recently experienced a major overhaul in their line-up, with the league’s top players: Edin Tatar, Kiril Kniazeu and, well-known in Mielec, Marek Szpera, joining the team.
This season, MKS has defeated Meble Wójcik Elbląg (25:21), Wybrzeże Gdańsk (33:22), Spójnia Gdynia (22:21), KPR Legionowo (27:25), Zagłębie Lubin (28:24) and Stal Mielec, in round 3, 30:27.
It is getting increasingly crowded in the Orange Group. The winner of this game will score four points and cause quite a stir there.
Stal Mielec – Energa MKS Kalisz (Wednesday) 24 January 2018, 6:00 PM
Zagłębie Lubin – PGE VIVE Kielce
Zagłębie Lubin will also play a four-point game against PGE VIVE Kielce, with their opponent being especially ready to fight and eager to win this time.
“We know what kind of a team they are and what kind of players will come here. It won’t be easy but I would like our team to have the right attitude and do their best to win the game. After all, Vive players are humans, not robots. You can win against them but you have to be aware that their experience, successes and skills on the court will play in their favour. We will be trying to show some character in this game. Playing against Vive is always a good experience and a chance to learn. After the game we will have a clear idea on where we stand as a team and how far away from the very best we are right now,” says Bartłomiej Jaszka, the Zagłębie Lubin coach.
Zagłębie Lubin’s opponent, Vive Kielce, is more than eager to get back on court. “We have surely missed the league during the winter break. We will gladly get back in the game and compete a little,” says Mariusz Jurkiewicz. Vive have played their last game over a month ago against MMTS Kwidzyn. Due to the European Men’s Handball Championship, the Kielce team will not play with full line-up. In the fall round, Vive defeated Zagłębie 32:24.
Zagłębie Lubin – PGE VIVE Kielce (Wednesday) 24 January 2018, 6:15 PM at Canal + Sport
Sandra Spa Pogoń Szczecin – Orlen Wisła Płock
Pogoń has started this round with a victory against Meble Wójcik Elbląg and a loss against Wybrzeże Gdańsk and currently ranks last in the Orange Group. However, the team still has a chance to advance to the 2018 Finals.
In round 17, Orlen Wisła Płock won comfortably against Chrobry Głogów by 9 goals. Eight of these were scored by Orlen’s wingman, Przemysław Krajewski, who has already scored 66 times this season. Wisła will come to Szczecin as a sure favourite, determined to walk away with four points.
Sandra Spa Pogoń Szczecin – Orlen Wisła Płock (Wednesday) 24 January 2018, 6:30 PM
Meble Wójcik Elbląg – Azoty-Puławy
Despite their ambition and best efforts in the game against Gwardia Opole, Meble Wójcik Elbląg’s losing streak continues. The team has lost their 13th game in a row. Although the defence, and especially their goalkeeper, Paweł Kiepulski, playing good handball, losing only 28.2 goals per game, the team’s attack is much weaker, with only 22.2 goals per game which is the worst result in the Superleague.
In their last game, Azoty won comfortably against Piotrkowianin, 33:26. The match was especially successful for the team’s newcomer, Władislaw Ostruszko, who scored five goals. As of the moment, Azoty rank second in the Orange Group, falling short of Orlen Wisła Płock by only four points. Daniel Waszkiewicz’s team will surely do everything in their power to take over Orlen in the regular season.
Meble Wójcik Elbląg – Azoty-Puławy (Wednesday) 24 January 2018, 6:30 PM
Piotrkowianin Piotrków Trybunalski – KPR Legionowo
In just two rounds, Piotrkowianin fell by three ranks in the Orange Group and now ranks only sixth, all due to their defeats against Azoty-Puławy and Gwardia Opole. Piotrkowianin will surely try to make up for it in the game against KPR Legionowo.
KPR has surprisingly, and heavily, won against Stal Mielec, 31:23. Kamil Ciok performed especially well, having scored eight goals.
In the fall round, the game ended with a penalty shootout, with KPR winning 4:3 (23:23). Stanisław Makowiejew, the Piotrkowianin backcourt, scored ten goals in total, whereas KPR’s Kacper Adamski, the Superleague top scorer (114 goals in total), scored one goal less.
Piotrkowianin Piotrków Trybunalski – KPR Legionowo (Wednesday) 24 January 2018, 6:30 PM
Wybrzeże Gdańsk – Gwardia Opole
Kamil Adamczyk was stunningly effective in Wybrzeże’s last game. It was usually the 19-year-old backcourt who carried the weight of the play, scoring 10 goals in total. As a result, Wybrzeże now ranks fifth in the Orange Group. Marcin Lijewski, the team’s coach, can now look into the future, and their Wednesday game against Gwardia, with hope, despite the series of injuries that has plagued his team for some time now.
Gwardia started off with two victories, against Meble Wójcik Elbląg and Piotrkowianin. Their main goalkeeper, Adam Malcher, has finally regained his full strength and and saved 43% of all shots in the game against Meble.
In round 3, Gwardia won only after a penalty shootout. It was a game to remember for Wybrzeże Gdańsk who, despite leading throughout the game, lost to Gwardia after their opponent scored a last-minute equalizer.
Wybrzeże Gdańsk – Gwardia Opole (Wednesday) 14 January 2018, 7:00 PM
Round 18, just like all the other January rounds, promotes the “Rodzice i Dzieci – Powietrze bez śmieci” clean air initiative. Together with the PGNiG Foundation, we want to draw attention to the quality of the air we breathe. The courts, as well as the clock, will be decorated with special stickers. The first 50 people who will come to a Superleague game via public transport and show us their ticket will be awarded free tickets to the game. Learn more at https://www.powietrzebezsmieci.pl/o-programie #CzystePowietrze