In the first match of the third round PPD Zagreb will on Saturday (20.00 CET) in Sutinska vrela sports hall welcome Izvidjac Ljubuski. This will be the second match for Lino Cervar and his players after their second-round match against Steaua had to be postponed due to Romanian team’s appearance on the European stage. Hosts will definitely be highly motivated after their first ever loss against NEXE a week ago, and will look for first points against the team from Ljubuski. Good thing for coach Cervar is that he will finally be able to count on Lovro Jotic who returned to Zagreb during the summer and will definitely be a reinforcement for Croatian champs on the middle back position, especially after both Domagoj Pavlovic and Josip Valcic left in the last few months. Izvidjac have on the other hand in first two rounds delivered two quality performances – against Meshkov and NEXE, but missed that little something to stun favored opponents and reach first points. Will they be third time lucky playing Croatian champs or will Lino Cervar and his players use the opportunity to reach first SEHA points?
The opening match of the Third Round will be broadcasted on Arena Sport channels, Sport Klub Poland and of course ehfTV.
Lino Cervar, PPD Zagreb coach:
Goal is clear of course - we want to win the match and more importantly deliver a better performance than we did in Nasice. We made a lot of roster changes during the summer so our goals don’t appear to be as high as they maybe were in the last few seasons. However, I repeat, despite of everything goal is to play better and try to win the match on Saturday.
David Mandic, PPD Zagreb player:
Izvidjac have also brought some new players in during the summer and they once again have a quality, young team. They are quite fast so we’ll have to be focused in defensive transition. However, we’ve got to concentrate on ourselves and our performance and in case we play best we can I believe we’ll reach the result we want.
Mario Bjelis, Izvidjac coach:
I expect hosts to deliver a tough and serious performance, especially after their first-round loss in Nasice. It's clear they'll be fully motivated against us but we've got to give our best to show what we're capable of despite of the fact our players are quite tired due to a really harsh schedule.
Mario Pavlak, Izvidjac player:
Zagreb have one of the best teams in the league but despite of that we’re not going to Croatia with a ‘white flag’. Goal is to fight until the final whistle, try to deliver best possible performance and see what it brings us in the end.