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News / BHL Newsletter: Tenax Dobele crowned as Latvian champions!
Baltic Handball League
BHL Newsletter: Tenax Dobele crowned as Latvian champions!
The first club from Baltic Handball League to win a domestic title in 2018/19 season is ZRHK Tenax Dobele! They defended their Latvian title in style, beating fellow BHL-team Celtnieks Riga with three straight victories.
Having beaten Celtnieks twice before, Tenax was behind early in the third game, but after Celtnieks last lead was 9:8, then Tenax pulled away – it was 16:14 at half-time and 35:27 at the final whistle. Oskars Arajs scored 12 goals for the champions and Artis Kurmens 8 for the runners-up.
In Lithuania, there is a chance of champion being crowned on Wednesday as Dragunas Klaipeda won the first two finals last week. At home they beat VHC Šviesa Vilnius 34:27 (Karolis Stropus and Gytis Šmantauskas 6 – Valdas Drabavičius 8) and away 29:25 (Karolis Bliuvas 6 – Drabavičius and Karolis Antanavičius 7). Dragunas leads the final series by 2-0.
Another Lithuanian BHL-side is fighting for the bronze. Granitas-Karys Kaunas lost the first match at home to Varsa-Stronglasas Alytus 25:29 (Modestas Štarolis and Paulius Šarkauskas 8), but fought back in Alytus and equalized the series with a 36:30 win (Štarolis 9).
Two this season's medallists of BHL played two matches each last week. SKA Minsk enjoyed success in Belarus, winning the last two home games of the season. They beat Kronon Grodno 36:20 (Dzmitry Khmialkou 8) and HC Meshkov Brest by 33:25 (Bohdan Cherkaschenko 7), though the local champions arrived to Minsk without any foreigners.
ZTR Zaporozhye had two local derbies to take care off. And if they managed to take a 30:28 win over ZNTU-ZAS Zaporozhye (Oleksandr Tilte 10), they suffered another defeat in the hands of HC Motor Zaporozhye by 25:31 (Tilte 7). Motor has secured yet another Ukrainian title and ZTR will have to settle with silver-medals.
ZTR head coach Vitaliy Nat also made an announcement, that he will take over coaching of a strong Polish Ekstraklasa club SPR Chrobry Glogow. "It was an offer I could not refuse and I have signed a three-year deal. I hope I can leave ZTR with a bang and win the Ukrainian Cup at the end of May," commented Nat.
Estonian and Finnish clubs of BHL had a week off from competition, but will now start the most important games of the season. Serviti Põlva and HC Tallinn will compete in the Estonian league final, while HC Kehra/Horizon Pulp&Paper play for bronze-medals against Coop Põlva. BHL champion Cocks Riihimäki starts the Finnish league final series against Dicken Helsinki.
On photo: Latvian champions ZRHK Tenax Dobele. (Photo: Tenax).