by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Always secure in a team competition, focused, never ruffled, no sense of panic, in the third match of the fixture he beat Tomas Konecny, the winner in 2016 on the ITTF World Tour in Bulgaria. In a gripping full distance encounter, João Monteiro recovered from a two games to nil deficit to emerge successful (10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-8).
A hard fought win, after the in-form João Geraldo had beaten Lubomir Jancarik in the opening match of the fixture (12-10, 11-8, 11-9) and Pavel Sirucek had accounted for Marcos Freitas (15-13, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9), the win recorded by João Monteiro turned the tide.
Marcos Freitas, stung by his earlier defeat, returned to the table; he overcame Lubomir Jancarik in four games (14-12, 5-11, 14-12, 11-7).
Third position for Portugal behind China and Brazil; both finished their group phase fixtures with most emphatic three-nil wins.
Represented by the Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin; China showed no charity when facing the DPR Korea combination of Choe Il, Pak Sin Hyok and Kang Wi Hun. Similarly, Brazil underlined the fact that increasingly they are a world force and challengers for major honours.
Selecting the tried and trusted line up of Hugo Calderano, Eric Jouti and Gustavo tsuboi, a most commanding performance was executed in opposition to the Russian combination of Vildan Gadiev, Sadi Ismailov and Denis Ivonin.
Final Standings: 1. China 10pts 2. Brazil 9pts 3. Portugal 8pts 4. Czech Republic 7pts 5. Russia 6pts 6. DPR Korea 5pts (One point is award for being present, one point for a win)