The first matches of the second half of the Pool stages is right in front of us and every point will be important from this point on.
The second half has commenced and produced the fireworks that were expected
In Group 2 Twente and Houtrust are heading towards the playoffs unthreatened. Behind them Apeldoorn is currently holding the best cards for the last playoff ticket and yesterday they came very close to surprising Houtrust and reaffirming that third spot in the poule.
However, with both teams having won a match and Yassin Apeldoorns Elshafei leading 2-0 in the decider, Velavan Senthilkumar managed to turn things around and secure the win for Houtrust.
In the other match Twente decimated Drachten to increase the lead with Houtrust to 11 points, basically meaning they are lined op to win poule 2.
Group 1 shows a different script as there are 4 teams battleng for the top 3 positions. In that race ‘Meersquash suffered the most damage so they brought the big guns to Ridderkerk.
The people in Ridderkerk are very fortunate by the way, because how often do you get to witness Paul Coll, Nicolas Mueller, Patrick Rooney (and two monts ago tthe El Shorbabgy brothers) go at eachother at your own club?
Lucky as the spectators were again, the team wasn’t unfortunately as they had to take a 3-9 blow making them lose terrain in the poule standings.
In the match between Frans Otten Stadium and the yet unbeaten Victoria Rotterdam the stakes were also high and that showed.
On paper Juan Camilo Vargas was set to take the victory against Jakub Solnicky, but the other matches were too close to call. Eventually Frans Otten came out victorious. And even though the last match of the evening between Omar Abdel Meguid and Piedro Schweertman was nog the decider, it was a true battle that is most definitely worth watching back.
All in all the groups are slowly reaching their boiling point and in the coming matches extra spice will continuously be added.
Drachten and Almere are down and out, but the 8 other teams will all power up from this point making the Dutch PSL a true spectacle to watch…
In Group One all eyes will be on the match between Ridderkerk and ‘Meersquash. For ‘Meersquash a win is of vital importance to be elligeble to play in the playoffs so they’ll play a line-up playing with Paul Coll and Nicolas Mueller on 1 and 2 to secure the win. They’ll need, because due to regulations their presence leaves only room for a weak substitute on 3. Ridderkerk however has Patrick Rooney and Mahesh Mangaonkar to counter and does not have to make any concessions with their third player meaning they’re up 3-0 before the match even started.
Second match in this Group will be a cracker as well as Frans Otten Stadium is playing the still unbeaten Victoria Rotterdam in front of their home crowd. Line-ups are matched quite evenly with a slight advantage for Frans Otten. Most spectacular will be the last match of the evening between Omar Abdel Meguid and 7-times Dutch Champion Piëdro Schweertman. Last encounter between the to ended 3-2 to Meguid after a tough but fair battle and would he win again, there’s even a very small chance Frans Otten will overtake Victoria as poule leader.
In Group 2 it’s all about the third position in the group. Coulisse Twente and Houtrust are leading the group comfortably leaving only one spot open for the playoffs. In that fight, Drachten is receiving Twente and Apeldoorn Houtrust.
On paper the home playing teams seem to be at a disadvantage, but both matches have all ingredients to cause a big upset. Especially in Apeldoorn where Omar Mosaad is almost sure to beat Ivan Perez. Would Yassin Elshafei beat Velavan Senthilkumar, which is not deemed inpossible, Apeldoorn would win and widen the gap with Drachten and Utrecht massively.
Drachtens chances are significantly more slim, but the match between Dutch nationale Rowan Damming and Thijs Roukens is one to look forward to. Especially if Emyr Evans manages to beat Auguste Dussourd, because then it would be the decider for the win and than a home advantage could very well be a decisive factor.
Big names, exciting matches and harsh possible consequences, round 5 has it all and an evening of exciting topsquash is guaranteed.
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