DAY 1 REVIEW: The teams that had been deemed favourites before the tournament, confirmed that status on the first day of the ebt Finals 2016 in Thessaloniki
Defending champions start victorious at ebt Finals 2016
The only thing that was not really fitting was the weather. After a sunny start to the first day of the ebt Finals 2016 in Thessaloniki, in the early afternoon rain started falling on the courts at the Avant Garde Sportsclub.
However, the teams were not particularly bothered and those that had been deemed favourites before the tournament, confirmed that status on the first day.
Defending men's champions and six-time winners Detono Zagreb needed the shoot-out to prevail in Group A against BHT Auto Forum Petra Plock, but eventually recorded a 2:1 win in the only match they played on Friday.
Also Agenta Girls from Hungary, the defending women's champions, won their only match on Friday, beating the Swiss Beachqueens 2:0 in Group A.
The only team to play two matches on Friday and win both of them were AC Spartacus Goalbet from Greece in the women's competition.
They first beat Reflex AZS AWF Volkswagen Poznan 2:0 and then also won the second game, this time 2:1 against Paksoft Camelot in the last match of the day.
"The level here is quite high and from the very beginning it was clear that the teams had turned into 'competition mode'. All teams are determined to fight to the end," said Spartacus' Natalie Siena, a Brazilian who won the World Championship twice.
"We do the same, of course, as we are the only Greek team here at the ebt Finals."
The tournament's preliminary round continues on Saturday, 21 May at 10:00 hrs local time. The first two teams of each group in both the men's and the women's event qualify for the semi-finals on Saturday.
All matches from Court 1 and Court 2 will be streamed live on the ehfTV Youtube channel.
Furthermore the European Handball Federation has sent a mobile reporter to the event who will provide exclusive behind the scenes coverage as well the very action from the courts on Twitter, Snapchat (add ehf_live to your friends) and Instagram.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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