Both finals to feature Spanish-Portuguese clashes
Day three of the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup saw four teams book their tickets to the final matches, with three of four semi-finals ending in a shootout.
Notably, all finalists represent either Spain or Portugal - in the men's tournament, the Spanish team CBMP Ciudad de Malaga will face Portugal's V.Gaw on Sunday, while another Iberian derby is taking place in the women's competition, with defending champions from Spain GEA A.M.Team Almeria meeting GRD Leca – Love Tiles from Portugal.
V.Gaw win two shootouts
Both finalists of the men's event had only finished second in their groups on Friday, but did a good job in the play-offs and now will contend for the trophy.
In particular, Malaga opened their Saturday action by beating Polish side BHT Petra Plock in the quarter-final in two sets, 24:18, 18:14, and a few hours later, they made the next step to the final, defeating Hungary's HIR-SAT BHC in a shootout.
Miguel Rueda was the player to watch at Malaga, as he combined for 33 points in these two games, scoring 16 points against Plock and 17 against HIR-SAT.
In turn, V.Gaw struggled more on their way to the final. The Portuguese team won two games and lost just as many in group B, and on Sunday, they won both encounters in the shootouts: against BHC Sand Devils in the quarter-final and then against fellow Portuguese side Formacao de Espinho – Os Tigres.
Almeria with chance to defend title
Reigning champions GEA A.M. Almeria need just one more victory to defend their title. So far, the Spanish side have done a good job – they beat four of their five rivals in the group to add two more wins on Saturday.
In the quarter-final, Almeria defeated Germany's Beach Unicorns in two sets, and in the semi-final, they needed a shootout to eliminate two-time Champions Cup winners LV Sport Multichem Szentendrei NKE from Hungary, who had won all previous matches in the current tournament.
In the final, the title holders will be up against GRD Leca – Love Tiles, a team from Portugal who claimed two wins on Saturday after previously securing the top position in group A. Notably, it will be a re-match of their group encounter, won by Almeria in a shootout.
In the quarter-final, Leca enjoyed a pretty straightforward win in a Portuguese derby against Escola de Formacao de Espinho – Os Tigres (20:12, 26:10), yet in the semi-final, Germany's Minga Turtle proved to be a much tougher opposition.
Although Leca again won it two sets, the score 23:22, 19:18 suggests that Minga were a tough nut to crack. Paula Reips stood out with her 26 points and now tops the scoring chart with 109 points, yet her effort was not enough for Turtles who will compete with Szentendrei for third place.
Finals to crown Sunday action
The final matches, as well as third-place and placement encounters, will take place on Sunday.
The women's final will throw off at 15.30 CET before the men's final which will begin an hour later. The award ceremony follows the conclusion of that game.
However, it is the placement matches that open the day starting from 10.00 CET, with the third-place games to be played at 13:30 CET (women) and 14:30 (men).
Sunday's medal matches will be accompanied by a live show on Twitch with EHFTV commentator Chris O'Reilly and Beach EURO 2019 gold medalist, Ditte Wind, guiding you through the afternoon's decisive matches.