Olympiacos dominated Group A of the OLP-COSCO Europe Trophy Gran Final men’s table tennis and on Sunday they are giving everything to win the trophy. With the very strong Croats Tomislav Pukari, Andrej Gatsina, but also extremely efficient next to them the experienced Greek, Tasso Riniotis, scored three victories in as many matches and goes with the best mentality to the semi-final against the Austrian Stockerau at 11:00.
In fact, Olympiacos completely confirmed the role of the favorite, despite the unexpected with the Englishman Liam Pitchford, who only returned on Friday from the “Singapore Smash” and in the morning developed stomach disorders, as a result of which he missed two matches. Whether he overcomes them and competes on Sunday, however, or not, it is clear that the “hosts” can reach the trophy with the support of their fans.
Olympiacos started with a win on Saturday morning against DT Hostert/Folschette from Luxembourg. He prevailed with a 3-1 set and took his first points in the first group. Although he encountered a sudden problem with Pitchford along the way, he proved to be fully prepared. He used a total of four athletes and was not affected by the unexpected defeat of the top English athlete to the left-handed Swede, Mats Sandel.
Pitchford entered the trio, but was not feeling well, underperformed and missed the second game. He was replaced by Tasos Riniotis and was strong from every side. At the hotel, Pitchford developed signs of gastroenteritis and was advised to rest.
At noon on Saturday, Olympiacos faced the Polish Global Pharma Orlicz 1924. The Croatians Pukar and Gatsina were unbeatable, Riniotis framed them superbly once again and with a 3-0 victory the first goal was secured, i.e. qualification to the semi-finals.
In the evening of the same day, the group was closed with the match against the Croatian STK Libertas Marinkolor. Pukar and Gatsina were under no pressure to add another win to their credit. Riniotis from position 3 had a lot of difficulty in his own mission, but he pulled it off again with a reversal, in fact, from 3-5 in the fifth set and, thus, Olympiacos achieved another victory with a 3-0 set.
In detail, the progress of the match DT Hostert/Folschette-Olympiakos 1-3:
Gleb Shamruk-Andrei Gatchina 0-3 (3-11, 5-11, 6-11)
Mats Sandel-Liam Pitchford 3-1 (14-12, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3)
Mael Van Dessel-Tomislav Pukar 0-3 (4-11, 5-11, 6-11)
Shamrock-Tassos Riniotis 1-3 (7-11, 11-4, 6-11, 6-11)
In detail, the evolution of the match KS Global Pharma Orlicz 1924-Olympiakos 0-3:
Piotr Cirnek-Tomislav Pukar 0-3 (5-11, 11-13, 7-11)
Daniel Buck-Andrei Gatchina 0-3 (3-11, 6-11, 7-11)
Robert Floras-Tassos Riniotis 2-3 (6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 4-6)
In detail, the evolution of the match STK Libertas Marinkolor-Olympiakos 0-3:
Filip Shipin-Tomislav Pukar 0-3 (9-11, 5-11, 4-11)
Miho Simovic-Andrei Gatsina 0-3 (6-11 and 0-11, 0-11 due to injury)
Tomislav Iapets-Tasos Riniotis 2-3 (11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 11-9, 5-6)
THE FINAL STANDING OF GROUP A:
1. Olympiacos SFP 9-1 6
2. Global Pharma Orlicz 1924 6-6 5
3. DT Hostert/Folschette 6-8 4
4. STK Libertas Marinkolor-KS 3-9 3
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