The draw for the second qualification round has set up really exciting groups – all three days shall offer premium entertainment, the very best of women’s water polo.
Since the sixteen teams are coming from five powerhouses, Hungary (4 sides), Greece (4), Italy (3), Spain (3) and the Netherlands (2), it was inevitable that we will see a series of national derbies in the following round – besides some other great fixtures. And just looking at the draw, water polo fans can already be thrilled of thinking of the three days of action due on 9-11 December.
Italy’s top two sides, 8-time winner Orizzonte and last season’s bronze medallist Padova play with LEN Trophy runner-up Dunaujvaros (HUN) and ZVL (NED). Group B will offer a Hungary v Spain race for the top two spots. Two of Hungary’s upcoming sides, Eger and Ferencvaros face off each other and with Sabadell, runner-up last spring, and stronger and stronger Mataro.
The Budapest group is just as exciting with Final Four participant UVSE, two Greeks, Glyfada and LEN Trophy winner Ethnikos and Spain’s Mediterrani. While Group D, to be played in Rome, features title-holder Olympiacos, fellow Greek side Vouliagmeni, plus the host team and another Dutch side De Zaan.
From each group, the top two will qualify for the quarter-finals, while the teams finishing 3rd and 4th respectively will continue in the Euro Cup prelims, together with the eight sides having finished 4th and 5th in the first qualification round in the Champions League last weekend.
Draw for the Qualification Round II
(Playing dates: 9-11 December)
Group A (Padova)
Ekipe Orizzonte (ITA), Antenore Plebiscito Padova (ITA), Dunaujvarosi Foiskola (HUN), ZVL 1886 (NED)
Group B (Eger)
Astralpool Sabadell (ESP), Assolim CN Mataro (ESP), Tigra ZF Eger (HUN), FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN)
Group C (Budapest)
UVSE Budapest (HUN), NC Glyfada (GRE), CE Mediterrani (ESP), Ethnikos Piraeus (GRE)
Group D (Rome)
Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE), SIS Roma (ITA), NC Vouliagmeni (GRE), ZV De Zaan (NED)