Nigeria’s duo of Aruna Quadri and Bode Abiodun made it five Portuguese Cup title in a row at the weekend after their team – Sporting beat GDCS Juncal 3-0 to retain the Portuguese Cup.
Also, the women’s team of Sporting Club started their return to the first division on a good note by claiming the Portuguese Cup at the expense of GD Toledos in the finals played at the Municipal Sports Pavilion of Póvoa de Varzim.
In the report monitored on the Portuguese Table Tennis Federation website, Sporting has won the last four editions to increase their titles to 26 in the Portuguese Cup, the men’s team is made up of Nigeria’s duo of Aruna Quadri and Bode Abiodun as well as Portuguese internationals – Joao Monteiro and Diogo Carvalho proved why they remained the best team in Portugal.
The 2018 semifinalist in the ETTU Champions League were in fine form against GDCS Juncal with Nigerian superstar – Aruna Quadri championing the onslaught against their opponent.
Playing the first game against Russian Andrei Bukin, Aruna Quadri wasted no time to dismiss the Russian with a 3-0 (11-5, 11-2, 11-6) bashing.
But it was not same story for Diogo Carvalho who had to dig deep to defeat Romanian Mihai Sargu 3-2 (11-4, 8-11, 11-2, 11-13, 11-7).
The partnership of Bode Abiodun and Diogo Carvalho completed the rout for Sporting when they overcame the duo of David Bessa and Andrei Bukin 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-9) to lift the trophy for the fifth time in a row.
To berth in the men’s final, Sporting had defeated ADC Ponta do Pargo in the semi-finals (3-1), the CD São Roque in the quarterfinals (3-0) and CTM Lagos in the round of 16 (3-0).
The women’s team of Sporting who made their return to the elite division of the Portuguese league after playing in the lower division last season.
The women's final involving Sporting and GD Toledos was officiated by the duo of Francisco Rocha and António Pacheco and it was Daniela Dodean Monteiro that started the campaign for Sporting when she defeated Olga Shishmareva 3-2 (11-5, 11-7, 5-11, 5-11, 6-11).
Li Fen increased the lead for Sporting when she beat Anita Luis 3-0 (5-11, 5-11, 5-11).
However, GD Toledos made a statement in the doubles game when the pair of Olga Shishmareva and Olga Chramko overcame Sporting’s Zhenqi and Barthel Apolónia 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 11-8).
To end the possibility of a comeback, Barthel Apolónia thrashed Toledos’ Anita Luís 3-0 (4-11, 1-11, 5-11)to hand the Sporting ladies the trophy.
The final phase of the competition was attended by 29 teams made up of 16 men and 13 women.
In men, Sporting Clube de Portugal won the last four editions of the trophy and now adds 26 titles, while the women's team won the trophy for the 13th time, finishing the reign of CTM Mirandela who won the Portuguese Cup in the nine years above. From 1992-1993 the team "leonina" did not win the Cup.
The coach of Sporting women’s team Marco Rodrigues said: “It is very good to win again the Portuguese Cup for Sporting Clube de Portugal, after so many years of interruption.”
Sporting Director, Miguel Almeida added: “These two titles are very important, because they were a goal of the section and the club, which enters to win in all the races in which it participates. In the female case it was even more important because it is the first year in which, after we were absent from the 1st division, we returned victoriously. We are working to win the remaining titles until the end of the season.”