Jotic: “We need a perfect outing, a bit of luck and loud support from our fans to get through!“

Lovro Jotic i Nikola Mitrevski

Macedonian vice-champions Eurofarm Pelister have, apart from the fully crowded ‘Boro Curlevski’ sports hall on Wednesday evening (20.15 CET) in Bitola promised to deliver a fighting performance with hopes of reaching a SEHA quarter-finals spot. NEXE have a three-goal advantage (23:20) from the first match which means everything is still pretty much open.

For the first time this season, since Eurofarm merged with Pelister, they will have full support with famous fan group ‘Ckembari’ confirming their arrival. This is, without doubt, one of the most important matches for Macedonians this season and a chance to prove everyone they’ve made some great investments including new coach Zeljko Babic.

If they manage to get past Nexe that would be their biggest achievement in 15 years. Last time they managed to stay that long on an international stage was back in 2002 when they were playing in Challenge Cup final.

Nexe have already played in SEHA quarter-finals once five years ago and this will be a new chance for them to prove they are one of the best teams in the regional competition and an opportunity to fight for what would be their second F4 appearance. Winners will, in SEHA quarter-finals, face five-time SEHA champs Vardar.

Zeljko Babic, Eurofarm Pelister coach:
I’m really happy to be here in the handball city of Bitola and a great and beautiful country like Macedonia. I know Macedonia is a handball country, people here are crazy about the game. Jotic and Madzovski have rejoined the team after recovering from injuries and they will both be ready for tomorrow. Defense must remain on the same level and we’ll have to be better in transition and attack in general. Neither team is in perfect form at the moment after the long break and it is hard to predict anything but I hope we’ll in the end, in front of fully-crowded hall, celebrate with our fans.

Lovro Jotic, Eurofarm Pelister player:
We are feeling some pressure after the defeat in Nasice but we’re aware it is much easier for us to play at home in front of our fans. NEXE will play in an atmosphere they’ve never experienced before which is really something special for every handball player. With a perfect outing, a little bit of luck and loud support from our fans I think we can make it and advance through towards that quarter-final matchup against Vardar.

Hrvoje Horvat, Nexe coach:
We have to play a better match than we did at home. We’re lacking competitive matches which I see as one of the main reason for a big number of turnovers. We have to play good defense which helped us open the gap in the first game. Eurofarm will most definitely take advantage of their home court and fans will be ready to put additional pressure on our shoulders which is why we’ll have to be focused. In the last game we showed character as a team proving that we can play against Eurofarm Pelister.

Halil Jaganjac, Nexe player:
I’m glad to say I’m ready and prepared to help my team in the upcoming match. I believe we have to do our best to repeat the defensive performance we’ve delivered here in Nasice. Also, I feel like we have a lot of space to progress offensively which is something I’m hoping we’ll be better at tomorrow.