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31.08.2016, 14:30◄ last page     

FEATURE: Qualification hopefuls from Braga have their sights set on hitting the big time for the first time in 15 years

ABC/UMinho will fight until the last breath

After winning the national championship and the Challenge Cup last season, ABC/UMinho are ready to fight to get to the group phase of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Fábio Vidrago and Nuno Rebelo left the team over the summer, but José Costa (Montpellier), Dario Andrade (AC Fafe) and Ricardo Pesqueira, who has been out injured, will strengthen ABC’s qualification attempt.

“We have a flexible team with good ability to adapt to various difficulties that various opponents will provide,” says Carlos Resende, ABC/UMinho’s coach, adding that the international experience of players like José Costa will be very important in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

The Portuguese champions already played the super cup on 28 August, but lost out to Benfica. Resende thinks the pre-season “was amazing” and that the team needs to learn from defeats to find the necessary strength to win.

“We will fight until our last breath in any game, against any team, on any court.”

Maccabi Castro Tel Aviv will be the first opponent on 3 September at 19:30 CET (live on ehfTV.com). Depending on that result, ABC will against either Achilles Bocholt or Bregenz in the 3/4 place match or final on Sunday. For ABC's coach, the biggest difficulty for the team at this stage will be playing away from home.

However, Resende’s players are motivated and aim to play this competition with the same will as last season.

“Reaching the group phase would give us the opportunity to proudly represent Portuguese handball and to play in the best handball competition in the world,” concludes Carlos Resende.

TEXT: Filipa Sousa / cor

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