Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna single-handedly ensured that TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell moved to eighth place in the Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL) after their first away win of the season.
Apart from aiding his team’s rise on the table, Aruna remains the most successful player so far with TTC after recording his seventh victory in the league.
Being the third win in a row for TTC, it was the effort of the Nigerian that gave TTC a 3-1 win over their host – TTC drawbridge Grenzau at the weekend.
Aruna’s teammate, Fan Bo Meng started the campaign for TTC against Greek Ioannis Sgouropoulos, but the youngster could not withstand his bulky opponent to give the host a 1-0 lead with a 3-1 (11-6, 11-3, 7-11, 11-5).
But it took Aruna less than 15 minutes to restore parity for TTC with a convincing 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-4) over Belgian Robin Devos.
TTC extended their lead with German international, Ruwen Filus coming from behind to beat veteran Croat, Aleksandar Karakasevic 3-1 (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8).
In order not to force the tie into doubles decider, the onus rested on Aruna to rescue TTC and in his usual style, as he showed class with his never-say-die attitude despite the dominance of Sgouropoulos in the first and third game.
When it was 2-2 (9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7), players from the two were already warming up for the doubles’ decider especially when Aruna was trailing his opponent 4-8.
But the Nigerian turned things around picking the next four points to put the tie at 8-8. And even when his opponent needed only one point to end the match, Aruna fought well and he was rewarded for his efforts with a 12-10 win to record a 3-2 win over Sgouropoulos which earned TTC an overall 3-1 win.
Even Coach Colin Heow of TTC drawbridge Grenzau admitted that it was a big setback for his team that is yet to win any game this season.
“The defeat is very bitter. The game felt much closer than 1: 3,” said Heow.
But Aruna’s teammate, Filus breathed a sigh of relief when he simply said: “It was a very tight box today. My game and the last one from Aruna stood on the knife-edge. I’m very happy that we didn’t have to go into the final doubles to win 3-1.”