Turkish side welcome experienced Lubin in double-header
The Atatürk spor salonu in Kastamonu is the venue of the first match in the Last 16 of the Challenge Cup, which begins with the first leg this weekend.
Friday afternoon, Kastamonu B. Genclik SK are home to Metraco Zaglebie Lubin from Poland for the first leg of the only double-header in the competition this weekend. While the hosts are in a European competition for the first time in six years, the situation is quite different for the visitors. Zaglebie Lubin were in the qualifiers for the Women´s EHF Champions League three years ago and in the meantime, they have taken part in the Cup Winners' Cup and the EHF Cup. This season, they are trying their luck in the Challenge Cup. The return match is played in the same venue Saturday afternoon.
Four other ties have their first leg this weekend, while the remaining three match-ups are carried out as double-headers next weekend. One of the matches with the first leg this weekend is taking place in Kosovo, where European debutants KHF Shqipona are hosting Spanish Rocasa Gran Canaria ACE. The previous two seasons, the women from Gran Canaria were in the Last 16 of the EHF Cup, but this does not necessarily mean that they are the clear favourites in the Shani Nushi in Gjakove Saturday afternoon for the first leg.
On Saturday evening, a Swiss-Dutch meeting is taking place in the Eulachhalle in Winterthur. Yellow Winterthur will be trying to copy their achievement from last season, when they reached the quarter-final of the tournament. On the other hand, their opponents, Virto/Quintus, have already improved from their result from last year, where their journey ended in Round 3 of the Challenge Cup. However, this does not mean that the Dutch ladies will want to stop here, when a possible quarter-final can be seen on the horizon.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / tm