Pro Recco overcome sloppy start to beat Szolnok

In an almost must-win situation Olympiacos did not disappoint. Opening round 5 of the Champions League prelims on Wednesday the Greek champions defeated Jadran Herceg Novi at home 10-4 in a solid performance to take the top spot in group A but more importantly, keep up with the group's top 2 sides who square off later tonight. In the day's 2nd result Jug was not to be endangered by the young Partizan team who visited Dubrovnik. With Felipe Perrone and Paulo Obradovic back in action the home team steamrolled to a 12-4 victory, led by veteran Pavo Markovic who scored 4 goals.

Eger celebrated a nice and welcome win at home as Spandau, a proven dangerous opponent, was held off 10-7. In a team effort Eger made the difference in the 3rd period scoring 2 unanswered goals that lifted the Hungarians from a 6-4 half-time lead to an 8-4 score after 3 periods. That proved enough to secure just their 2nd win so far these prelims. Top scorer for Eger was centre forward Balazs Harai who netted 3 shots for the victors.

A tough one for Barceloneta but their resillience got them a point in Rijeka after Francisco Fernandez converted a penalty with 48 seconds remaining for his only goal of the game. It tied the score at 9-9 after Barceloneta trailed for most of the match-up. Primorje had the better of the two sides with their organised but more physical style of play. It looked to control the more mobile and dynamic team of Barceloneta. In the second half however the visitors crawled back eventually drawing level and therewith allowing Olympiacos to claim the top spot in the group while Eger, Primorje and Barceloneta are all tied for 2nd.

For Pro Recco the unbeaten run in the Champions League and this season was in jeopardy. Or at least it appeared so after Szolnok stormed away from the start in Wednesday's final match of round 5 in the Champions League prelims. The visitors from Hungary silenced the crowd in Sori by scoring the game's first 5 goals in a rare opening for Recco. Only with a minute to play in the first quarter, Filip Filipovic found the back of the net behind Attila Decker to start the scoring for the home team. But their task for the remainder was clear: making the comeback. That proved even more difficult as Szolnok looked to hold on in the 2nd term. Recco got more into their rythm but had trouble locking in on defence. Milan Aleksic and Aaron Younger scored for Szolnok but now saw the home side coming closer and closer already, especially after Dusan Mandic connected for the 5-7 score in the final seconds of the first half. Longtime Recco member Norbert Madaras responded after the main break for Szolnok but could also not avoid the comeback by Recco getting more and more successful. The European champion Serbians took over as Andrija Prlainovic hit for the 6-8 score, Dusan Mandic followed up a Milan Aleksic hit for Szolnok only to see Prlainovic striking again on man-up for the 8-9 score late in the period Andrea Fondelli was the player to level the score and things got even better when Sandro Sukno hit nicely off a free throw to get Recco in front for the first time (10-9) at the 3-quarter mark. Now the momentum had clearly shifted and Prlainovic and Mandic lifted the hosts to a 12-9 lead. Younger, joint top scorer for Szolnok, hit on extra man to get his team back to 12-10 but there was no stopping Pro Recco now. Dusan Mandic took over scoring a pair of consecutive goals, his 4th and 5th of the game as the win was secured and only was adjusted to a 14-11 final score as Serbia national team captain Zivko Gocic scored in the final seconds.

Day 6 of the prelims is already scheduled for next week with the return matches of today's schedule.

Champions League 2015-2016
Preliminary phase

Day 5

Wednesday, February 3

Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) vs. Jadran Carine Herceg Novi (MNE) 10-4 (3-0, 1-3, 3-1, 3-0)
Olympiacos scorers: Ioannis Fountoulis 6, Emmanouil Mylonakis, Kiriakos Pontikeas, Konstantinos Mourikis, Alexandros Gounas.

Jadran scorers: Aleksa Ukropina 2, Stefan Vidovic, Miroslav Randjic.

Jug CO Dubrovnik (CRO) vs. Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade (SRB) 12-4 (3-1, 3-0, 4-3, 2-0)
Jug scorers: Pavo Markovic 4, Paulo Obradovic 3, Loren Fatovic, Josip Vrlic, Xavi Garcia, Marko Ivankovic, Felipe Perrone.

Partizan scorers: Luuk Gielen 2, Drasko Gogov, Nemanja Vico.

ZF-Eger (HUN) vs. Wasserfreunde Spandau Berlin (GER) 10-7 (3-2, 3-2, 2-0, 2-3)
Eger scorers: Balazs Harai 3, Balazs Erdelyi, Boris Vapenski, Marton Szivos, Peter Biros, Krisztian Bedö, Norbert Hosnyanszky, Uros Cuckovic.

Spandau scorers: Marko Stamm 2, Mateo Cuk 2, Erik Miers, Marin Restovic, Tim Donner.

Primorje EB Rijeka (CRO) vs. CN Atletic-Barceloneta (ESP) 9-9 (5-3, 1-1, 1-2, 2-3)
Primorje scorers: Ivan Buljubasic 2, Gonzalo Echenique 2, Miho Boskovic 2, Damir Buric, Cosmin Radu, Ivan Krapic.

Barceloneta scorers: Strahinja Rasovic 2, Albert Español 2, Alberto Munarriz, Marc Minguell, Roger Tahull, Francisco Fernandez, Viktor Rasovic.

OSC (HUN) vs. Galatasaray Istanbul (TUR) 13-4 (4-1, 2-1, 5-2, 2-0)
OSC scorers: Bence Batori 4, Zsolt Juhasz 2, Adam Decker, Gabor Hegedüs, Miklos Gor-Nagy, Toni Nemet, Kevin Graham, Drasko Brguljan, Adam Nagy.

Galatasaray scorers: Berke Senemoglu 2, Vjekoslav Paskovic, Berk Biyik.

Pro Recco (ITA) vs. Szolnoki VSK (HUN) 14-11 (1-5, 4-2, 5-2, 4-2)
Pro Recco scorers: Dusan Mandic 5, Andrija Prlainovic (pictured) 3, Filip Filipovic 2, Dusko Pijetlovic, Sandro Sukno, Andrea Fondelli, Niccolo' Gitto.

Szolnok scorers: Aaron Younger 3, Milan Aleksic 3, Zivko Gocic 2, Norbert Madaras, Marton Vamos, Gabor Kis.

Current standings

Group A:

1. Olympiacos Piraeus 5 - 9 pts
2. Primorje EB Rijeka 5 - 8
3. ZF-Eger 5 - 8
4. CN Atletic-Barceloneta 5 - 8
5. Wasserfreunde Spandau Berlin 5 - 3
6. Jadran Carine Herceg Novi 5 - 2

Group B:

1. Pro Recco 5 - 15 pts
2. Jug CO Dubrovnik 5 - 12
3. Szolnoki VSK 5 - 9
4. Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade 5 - 6
5. OSC 5 - 3
6. Galatasaray Istanbul 5 - 0

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.

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