Lesjak explodes for 23 saves as Celje PL cruise past Tatran

Celje PL - Tatran Presov

League’s rookies Celje PL have with a dominant 39:30 triumph over Tatran Presov at home finished regular SEHA Gazprom season with 11-7 score. They are currently positioned third but it is still left to see whether this was their last match of the SEHA season or will they play two more on SEHA Gazprom League’s F4 tournament.

Fantastic performance to conclude the regular part of the season only three days after a stunner against reigning European champions Kielce. Guests have however managed to open the match better staying in control in the opening part of the first half.  Fortunately for home fans, after that period it almost seemed like there was only one team on the court and it was Celje which was today flying on wings of a remarkable goalkeeping performance from Urban Lesjak who is shining lately and was the key-factor today with 23 saves. Borut Mackovsek put on a clinic in attack exploding for 7/7 and there was not much Slovak team could really do. Oliver Rabek was on the other side leading Tatran taking the best scorer of the match award with 10. Slovak champions will try to get out of the slump in final two regular season away clashes in Velenje and Veszprem.

Rastislav Trtik, Tatran Presov coach:
Congratulations to Branko Tamse and his team for both result and delivered performance today as well as against Kielce a few days ago. They really have good, talented young players playing modern fast-flowing handball because of which we were even ahead of the clash aware this is not going to be easy at all. We were not able to stop them today especially with only two back shooters in the second half with Jankovic out. We’re experiencing quite a lot injury problems which are forcing us to improvise. We’ve played a good first half but in the second we were simply not able to cope with their rhythm as their bench is way longer than ours. They were on the other side punishing all of our mistakes so this is a well-deserved win for them.

Stefan Jankovic, Tatran Presov player:
Coach already said everything. I wish Celje all the best in both SEHA F4 and Champions League. Our goal right now is to heal ourselves and get ready for our domestic championship.

Branko Tamse, Celje PL coach:
We’ve known Tatran are capable of playing a good match and they’ve proved it today. We’ve watched their match against La Rioja in which they’ve managed to get a clear win. They were today however missing some key players but we were on the other side not on the required level in the first half. I feel like we were still thinking about the match against Kielce simply making too many mistakes. In the second half we’ve delivered a good performance and I’ve even had a chance to rotate a lot giving players who usually don’t get many chances an opportunity to show what they can.  I would also like to thank our ‘Florijani’ and I hope we’ll once again have them supporting us against Rhein Neckar Löwen creating an atmosphere for big results. 

Gal Marguc, Celje PL player:
In the first half our heads were still in the match and the victory against Kielce but in the second half we’ve managed to make everything function a whole lot better. We’ve delivered a solid performance which has brought us well-deserved win in the end.