(by Steve Hopkins)
At one point during the first half of the TTBL Season in Germany, both Borussia Dusseldorf and TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen were undefeated with 6-0 records a positioned at first and second. Since that point, the outlook for the squads have turned in opposite directions, with Dusseldorf finishing the first half of the season undefeated and Ochsenhausen closing by losing 4 of 5.
Dusseldorf was one of four teams at the top of the league to compete for the Germany Cup. They lost the Final to Saarbrucken – Dusseldorf’s first loss of the year. Now, in their first match of the second half, Dusseldorf has lost again. that is, if you include the two Euro Cup wins and the Germany Cup Semifinal win, Dusseldorf went 14-0 – but has now lost two matches in a row. To their defense, they have been without Timo Boll for several weeks, and today they were also without Anton Kallberg. Boll continues to nurse injuries, and both Boll and Kallberg have fought illness as well. The victorious team was TTC Schwalbe Bergneustadt. The Schwalbe squad features Benedikt Duda (who won both of his matches today) and the third win was secured by Ecuador’s Alberto Mino who upset Kristian Karlsson.
For Ochsenhausen, they continue to slide. Their record now stands at 7-5 after today’s loss to TTC RhonSprudel Fulda-Maberzell. The result was never at issue, as Fulda’s Filus topped Ochsenhausen’s Gauzy 3-1. Quadri Aruna then blanked Kanak Jha 3-0 to give Fulda a 2-0 lead. And Alexandre Cassin sealed the victory with a 3-2 win over Sam Kulczycki.
Borussia Dusseldorf remains in the drivers seat in the TTBL with a regular season record of 11-1. The goal is to be in the Final 4 for the tournament at the end of the season – and there’s no reason to believe Dusseldorf won’t be in the running at the end. Saarbrucken is currently in second at 9-3, and Mulhausen is in third with an 8-4 record. After that, three teams have a 7-5 record (RhonSprudel Fulda, Neu Ulm, and Ochsenhausen).
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