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0098 moskva2mjestoOur girls return to Croatia with silver around their necks having lost in the final of an extremely strong EBT Tournament held in Russia. They were defeted by Hungarian Multichem Szentendrei NKE, a multiple European Champion with 2:0 (26:25, 24:10).
Moscow Grand Slam is the first ever EBT tournament held in the Russian capitol and the organizers tried and succeeded to organize a tournament on a same level as World and European Cups. It was all televised, with the final day broadcasted in 8 european countries including Croatia (Arena Sport).
Girls got to the final without losing a set. In the first group we had beaten Russian teams Luch, Krasnodar and SSHOR-1 Volgograd. In the second group, and playing excellent, Stalingrad and Stavropolye. In the semifinal we had a rematch with Volgograd. In that match Anja Vida Lukšić, our youngest national team member,  dominated and proved that she is the future of beach handball. She scored 26 points, a surreal number. Ivana Benko added 10 points and Kristina Smiljanić 11 assists. Vanja Perenčević had an amazing defensive performance, having three blocks.
In the final we saw a fantastic first set in which both offences dominated. Our girls had a lead throughout the set and entered the last 90 seconds with a lead of 3 points (25:22).
However two unsuccessful attacks gave the Hungarians the chance to turn things around which they did, winning the set 26:25. In the second set we seemed almost deflated by the shock, their goalkeeper Kokai got hot and there was no return. Still, with this second place our girls once more confirmed they rank in the very top of European beach handball and after already qualifying for the Champions Cup we qualified for one more big European Tournament - EHF Masters Finals.
We have to commend the entire team for a great tournament and especially Petra Lovrenčević for being crowned the best goalkeeper.


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