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Star team Gaziantepspor shines in Europe Cup

Posted by on June 5, 2016

Star team Gaziantepspor shines in Europe Cup

© Kozoom
The Gaziantepspor team celebrates the victory in the European final

PORTO - The European Cup three cushion for teams is the first major trophy in the gallery of the new Turkish team Gaziantepspor. The star team defeated the other favourite for the title, FC Porto, in the final match. Frédéric Caudron, the Belgian leading player of the champions, played an excellent tournament for his team in the wonderful billiard room of the FC Porto stadium. The victory of the number one in the world against Torbjörn Blomdahl (40-13 in 13 innings) paved the way for the first, tremendous European Cup for Gaziantepspor.

Dani Sánchez seized power and levelled the match by a delicious victory over Tayfun Tasdemir 40-32 in 19, but when Murat Naci Coklu scored his last point against Joao Ferreira (40-29 in 19), the Turks took a decisive lead in caroms . The two Portuguese FC Porto players, Joao Ferreira and Rui Costa, could not hold back some tears, looking very disappointed on the stage, because the blue brigade of Jorge Alipio at least must wait another year for the first European triumph.

The European Cup is in Turkish hands for the third time, after Bahcelievler had broken the Agipi hegemony in 2013 and 2014. The Dutch Dallinga team took the cup last year, also with Frédéric Caudron as the leading player. The tournament, the 59th European Cup final, was played for the third time in the long history in Porto, for the first time in FC Porto's billiards arena.

The stars came out to shine on the final day: the two group winners and two runners-up facing each other in the semifinals: Gaziantepspor made it to the final by a win over the Spanish Escuela Madrid, FC Porto defeated Andernos from France. The highlight of the semifinals came from Tayfun Tasdemir's cue. The Turkish number two exploded in his match against Javier Palazón by a final run of 18!

Frédéric Caudron, who was beaten by Torbjörn Blomdahl in the last group match, 40-27 in 18 innings, took revenge in the final and beat the Swede whom he passed for the number one position in the world two weeks ago. The Belgian played the best match of the tournament in the final. He attacked from the first innings, left Blomdahl far behind behind (19-9 in 9) and increased the score with a run of ten after the break (34-10 in 11). Two innings later, Caudron ran the needed points and finished 40-13, 3.077/1.100.

Thanks to the big difference, 27 caroms, Gaziantepspor had the upper hand in the match. The joy was tempered for a while by Dani Sánchez, who shone again against Tayfun Tasdemir (40-32 in 19) after his victory over Filippos Kasidokostas in the semifinals (40-19 in 15).

The decision over the overall win was up to the adjacent two tables, where Murat Naci Coklu was facing Joao Ferreira for the second time, kept a cool head and knocked out the young upcoming Portuguese star with a run of nine in the final phase (40-29). The win was enough for the Turkish coup: Rui Costa, the home town hero's match against Can Capak (34-30) could be stopped.

Frédéric Caudron personally took his eleventh European Cup after seven times with Agipi, twice with Crystal Kelly and once with Dallinga. ,,We were the big favourite to win with our strong line-up, but we met a stiff competition. In the semi-finals, the Spaniards were very hard to beat.''

About the final match, Caudron said: ,,I didn't see the match against Blomdahl as a revenge. We were much sharper in the final than in the last group match, when we had already qualified for the finals.'' The team spirit, Caudron said, was an important part of the success. ,,We have a team with super nice people, that gave us an advantage.'' The line-up of the Gaziantepspor team for next year will soon be negotiated. The expectation is that the top team stays together and will defend its victory in front of their home crowd.

FC Porto took a bid for the title, but could be satisfied with the silver medal after the start of the tournament with a loss against the Danish team BK Grøndal. Therefor, FC Porto needed to win or draw against Gaziantepspor to secure the place in the final round.

The young Spanish team Escuela Madrid surprised with a podium finish. The final was even close, when they almost upset the favourite: Ruben Legazpi finished his match against Caudron in the semi-final, but the Belgian equalized with three. Javier Palazón, with a 28-22 lead, was defeated by Tasdemir's super run of eighteen. Moreover, David Martinez won his match against Murat Naci Coklu, making that the Spanish number three maintained his unbeaten status.

Andernos was mainly strong on position one, where Forthomme played a brilliant tournament in which he remained unbeaten. In the semi-finals, the Belgian took the win against Torbjörn Blomdahl thanks to runs of 9, 5 and 7: 40-36 in 19 innings. Filippos Kasidokostas and Jérôme Barbeillon were the weak players in the team.

Three Belgians from the world's top twelve were in the top three of the best averages. Eddy Merckx obtained the best average with 2.207 out of three matches, Roland Forthomme 2.162 in four matches and Frédéric Caudron 2.125 in five. Dani Sánchez was the best number two with 1.830 average.

The Turkish winners with Frédéric Caudron, Tayfun Tasdemir, Murat Naci Coklu and Can Capak show their gold medals after the closing ceremony

The final ranking:
1) Gaziantepspor (Tur)
2) FC Porto (Por)
3) Andernos (Fra)
3) Escuela Madrid (Spa)
5) Grøndal (Den)
6) Dallinga (Neth)
7) CetSi Morangis (Fra)
8) FC Leca (Por)

Sad faces after FC Porto's loss in the final match: from left to right Torbjörn Blomdahl, Dani Sánchez, Joao Ferreira and Manuel Rui Costa

The individual ranking:

Number one players:

1) Roland Forthomme (Andernos) 87% score, 2.162
2) Frédéric Caudron (Gaziantepspor) 75%, 2.125
3) Eddy Merckx (Morangis) 66%, 2.207
4) Jean-Paul de Bruijn (Dallinga) 66%, 1.289
5) Ruben Legazpi (Madrid) 50%, 1.691
6) Torbjörn Blomdahl (Porto) 40%, 1.797
7) Dion Nelin (Grondal) 0%, 1.424
8) José Escudeiro (Leca) 0%, 1.025

Numbers two:
1) Daniel Sanchez (Porto) 80%, 1.830
2) Tonny Carlsen (Grondal) 66%, 1.461
3) Steven van Acker (Dallinga) 66%, 1.298
4) Javier Palazón (Madrid) 50%, 1.435
5) Filippos Kasidokostas (Andernos) 50%, 1.268
6) Tayfun Tasdemir (Gaziantepspor) 40%, 1.576
7) Eddy Leppens (Morangis) 33%, 1.677
8) Vitor Fernandes (Leca) 0%, 0.643

Numbers three:

1) David Martinez (Madrid) 100%, 1.428
2) Murat Naci Coklu (Gaziantepspor) 80%, 1.584
3) Brian Knudsen (Grondal) 66%, 1.195
4) Joao Pedro Ferreira (Porto) 40%, 1.303
5) Mario Aranha (Leca) 33%, 0.990
6) Bart Ceulemans (Dallinga) 33%, 0.742
7) Jérôme Barbeillon (Andernos) 25%, 1.093
8) Richard Bitalis (Morangis) 0%, 1.101

Numbers four:
1) Can Capak (Gaziantepspor) 80%, 1.226
2) Francis Connesson (Andernos) 75%, 0.993
3) Manuel Rui Costa (Porto) 70%, 1.289
4) Valentin Andaluz (Madrid) 37%, 0.898
5) Jean Reverchon (Morangis) 33%, 1.133
6) Patrick Vasseur (Dallinga) 33%, 0.855
7) Lars Dunch (Grondal) 16%, 1.102
8) Joao Gomes (Leca) 16%, 0.811.

The Andernos team with Roland Forthomme (right) who played a brilliant tournament

Tayfun Tasdemir, who ran 18 to the finish in the semis, shows his joy

Frédéric Caudron took the Europe Cup with Dallinga last year and won his eleventh with Gaziantepspor

CEB-president Bennie Deegens at the closing ceremony



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