Professors managed to defeat students in back to back challenges relying on their sheer determination and experience in an entertaining afternoon before the finals at the University of Oldenburg Sports Arena.
PPRE Challenge 2016
by Babak Ravanbakhsh, US (EUREC 2015/17)
With a packed venue of fans coming from all parts of the world cheering the student team, students gained an early lead thanks to good plays from the veterans Bruno, Luis, and the on-loan player from the Spanish league. The American rookie of the year, Colleen, showed a promising performance delivering numerous on-target passes, connecting with the Bengali superstar.
As the Spanish trio converted numerous attacks early on, it looked as it was going to be a comfortable win for the student side, however the experience factor from the professors was gradually showing its influence on the flow of the game. Lead by their inspirational captain, Mr. A. Günther and the young star Mr. E. Knagge, the professors slowly but surely gained their dominating form. In the back row the consistent Dr. Pehlken went on a streak of 8 service points to win the first match for the experienced side.
In the second set, the students made an attempt to change the plan as some substitutions were made. They kept the second set close early on, but as the game progressed, professors showed their composure and class, proving to be the more organized and composed team. The student players who decided not to be ashamed of home fans, made a comeback in the middle of the second set, but the increasing number of unforced errors costed them the set and the match. Mr. R. Knecht was named man of the match for his true sportsmanship character. Thanks to the cheering fans who provided extra entertainment, the students never gave up. At the end nothing could separate the teams as both teams enjoyed the match, sharing a refreshing afternoon before the finals.
As the teams named “black” (PPRE staff) and “white” (student side representing more than 10 colorful nations) players came on the pitch, there was not much to separate the sides. The confident PPRE staff team coached by Mr. H. Holtorf and taking advantage of the new PPRE-Staff generation (2 sons of Mr. E. Knagge) started the game lively as they scored the first goal, before the students gained more position on the ball relying on their youth and athleticism and finally scoring their first to make it level at one apiece with some scintillating samba moves from their Brazilian veteran Bruninho.
Lead by their inspirational captain Aldo, the students created more chances later on, and the Mexican was awarded for his hard work by scoring the second for the colorful whites, making it 2-1. Guatemalan superstar continued his great runs on the left flank dribbling his way through the solid German defence who were saving their energy for the weekend match against Italy. As the match was coming to an end, the experience and composure of the PPRE staff came to rescue them as they managed to equalize late through Dr. 'Igor' Waldl scoring a decisive goal and extending the match to penalty kicks. Finally it was the lucky students who took the advantage of their opportunities and converted more goals to win the game and the second challenge. Dr. J. Ohland was named man of the match for his great saves.
When it was all settled down on the pitch, it was time to relax and enjoy the BBQ. Robin and Mr. Golba also entertained the crowd in the Kubb challenge.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this great fun afternoon, from the preparation to execution, participation and managing the challenges. And special thanks to Mr. Edu for being the best coordinator.