20.12.2022  LIQUI MOLY HBL

The penultimate step to the REWE Final4 - Round of 16 on Wednesday and Thursday

Twelve games left until the REWE Final4 in Cologne: The next round of the DHB Cup with the round of 16 is on scheduled before Christmas - and even the eight quarter-finalists will get to know their opponents before Christmas. On Wednesday and Thursday (21/22 December 21/22), twelve first division teams and four second division teams will be in action in the round of 16 of the cup (all games live on sportdeutschland.tv). The four quarter-final duels in Cologne will already be drawn on Friday, 23 December 23 (13:00 CET).

After six first division teams (mostly in HBL internal duels) had already fallen by the wayside in the second round, four more first division duels follow in the round of 16. For the second time in a row, SG Flensburg-Handewitt is in for a treat: after last weekend’s derby winner eliminated current LIQUI MOLY-HBL table leader Füchse Berlin in the second round, the “small” northern derby will take place on Wednesday against Handball Sport Verein Hamburg. In the table, both clubs are only two places and five points apart, SG is fifth, HSV seventh. On the first round of the Bundesliga, Flensburg narrowly prevailed in the Hanseatic city by 31:30.

For the first time this season, champions and 2022 cup finalists SC Magdeburg have to deal with Bergischer HC - because the first leg of the league had to be postponed due to Magdeburg's participation in the IHF Super Globe. Two teams that both reached the quarter-finals last year are already locking horns in the round of 16 this season - and both are on a roll in the league: eighth-placed MT Melsungen hosts third-ranked Rhein-Neckar Löwen. In the league, the Badeners celebrated a perfect start to the season with a 36:25 win over the North Hesse - but are now challenged abroad.

One team, which promoted to the LIQUI MOLY-HBL will definitely make it into the last eight - because VfL Gummersbach are the visitors at ASV Hamm-Westfalen. While Gummersbach, winner of the league duel with a close 29:28, are swimming on the wave of success in ninth place, Hamm only have three points to their credit. The special motivation for VfL: they could become the "local hero" at the REWE Final4, after all, Gummersbach has already played numerous games in the LANXESS arena in Cologne in the past.

Meanwhile, four second division clubs are hoping for a special coup: Among them HC Elbflorenz, which had already knocked out first division club GWD Minden in the second round of the cup and are now dueling with the 2021 cup winners, TBV Lemgo Lippe, which also were part of the last REWE Final4 in Hamburg. SG BBM Bietigheim got the biggest hit against the title defender and record cup winners THW Kiel. Maybe a good omen: the SG women are the current DHB cup winners, but the men (actual seventh in the 2nd division) are just blatant outsiders compared to the Zebras, who clearly won in the second round in Potsdam.

The best-placed second division club in the league is Dessau-Rosslauer HV, currently third in the table, who eliminated their ranking neighbors TuS N-Lübbecke in the second round and are now facing TSV Hannover-Burgdorf, which defeated TVB Stuttgart in the first division duel and is currently sixth in the HBL. However, Wetzlar's new coach Hrvoje Horvat will celebrate his debut in the cup at a traditional location, Elsenfeld in Großwallstadt. Ranked on 13th position only, VfL fell short of expectations in the league, the last time, they won the German Cup was back in 1989. But since Wetzlar is also weakening in the league, people in Mainfranken are dreaming of the big sensation.

The cup round of 16:

Wednesday, 21. December 2022

19:00 CET ASV Hamm-Westfalen vs. VfL Gummersbach
19:00 CET SC Magdeburg vs. Bergischer HC
19:30 CET HC Elbflorenz 2006 vs. TBV Lemgo Lippe
19:30 CET MT Melsungen vs. Rhein-Neckar Löwen

Thursday, 22. December 2022

19:00 CET SG Flensburg-Handewitt vs. Handball Sport Verein Hamburg
19:30 CET Dessau-Rosslauer HV 06 vs. TSV Hannover-Burgdorf
19:30 CET SG BBM Bietigheim vs. THW Kiel
20:00 CET TV Großwallstadt vs. HSG Wetzlar

The quarter-finals will be drawn on Friday (23 December 13:00 CET) in the Radisson Blu Hotel Cologne, the official hotel partner of REWE Final4. The draw will be streamed live on the LIQUI MOLY HBL Facebook and YouTube channels as well as on HBL TV.

Photo: Klahn