With the semi-final line-up now determined in this year’s Longoni 9 Ball League, it’s now down to the players to perform well in Petrich this weekend on the Euro Tour in order to retain their places in their respective teams for the semis which take place in Lasko, Slovenia on the 30th September.
Spain will take on Bosnia & Herzegovina while Poland face Germany and it’s these last pairings where the two-man teams can really change. The players are chosen via their current rankings on the Euro Tour prior to the League matches and Poland’s Radoslaw Babica is hot on the heels of ever-present Wojciech Szewczyk.
Wojciech, currently ranked No.7, has partnered Wiktor Zielinski (No.2) in the group stages but Babica can gate-crash the party with a better result at this week’s Euro Tour stop in Petrich, Bulgaria. Currently ranked No.12, the veteran Pole needs a good result, and additionally needs Szewczyk to come a cropper in order to overturn a 130- point deficit.
Players earn an equal share of the prize money when they participate in the team so the results on the EuroTour are important. Commented Babica, “I never want my fellow countrymen to fail or have a bad time, I’ve just got to perform better than Wojciech here in Petrich and earn my place in the team. It will be difficult but I’m always ready for a challenge. I wish him well but I’m determined to do my best and partner Wiktor in the semi-finals in Lasko”.
The German team has already changed in the group stages with Thorsten Hohmann partnering Joshua Filler in the first group match. Then Tobias Bongers, who is currently ranked No.18, overtook Hohmann to play the second group match, and he now looks safe to continue that into the semis barring a disaster here in Petrich.
Hohmann is not competing this week, so it’s down to Ralf Souquet to give chase. Sitting in 29th spot, Souquet is 210 points adrift of Bongers and realistically needs to finish in the top four here, and rely on Bongers to leave the field early.
The semi-final line-up is:
Bosnia & Herzegovina v Spain
Poland v Germany
Following the semi-finals, the final will take place on Friday 25th November in Treviso, Italy.
Matches can be viewed live on the free Kozoom platform, TV.kozoom as well as on the Longoni 9 Ball League & EPBF Facebook pages.