Bengaluru Torpedoes will take on two-time finalist Ahmedabad Defenders in the Prime Volleyball League season two final at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.
The Torpedoes led by Pankaj Sharma shocked the defending champion Kolkata Thunderbolts 3-1. Coincidentally, the Defenders also defeated Calicut Heroes 3-1 in the two semifinals.
Pankaj, who was quiet throughout the league matches, picked up his rhythm and was awarded the player of the match for his splendid performance against the Thunderbolts. “We were not nervous, but were focused on our plan and what the coach told us,” said the 29-year-old outside hitter.
Thanking his head coach David Lee for supporting the team and encouraging them when the team went through ups and downs, Pankaj told, “Our coach encouraged us and got our confidence so high that we came back so well in the tournament. He didn’t let anyone’s confidence go down when we were losing, and we owe this to him.”
Despite the number of service errors, Pankaj is confident of bouncing back to form after practice before the finals.
While talking about his team’s strategy, he explained, “We have a plan for every zone and player, which includes where a player will serve, who will block where, where to stand as a defender, and this leads us to a successful performance.”
The last time Bengaluru crossed Ahmedabad’s path, it was beaten 2-3 by the latter. Defenders universal Angamuthu Ramaswamy does not want this result to get to his head and is focused on correcting the negatives from that match.
After being rendered speechless post the semis win, the 28-year-old is grateful to have proved himself after being picked during the auctions.
“I’m speechless (on reaching consecutive finals). I was not retained in the PVL 2 auctions, I thought I would be with another team and start from scratch. However, I would have liked to be selected by this team, but the coach did just that and gave me a chance. I have proved myself. I have known the coach for close to 13 years, so we have a different comfort level.”
Angamuthu felt that the notetaking by Lee would not make much difference. “No matter how many pointers you take, it all comes down to your performance on the court.”
When asked if consecutive matches would affect his team as it did to the Thunderbolts, he sounded optimistic and said, “We are used to playing consecutive matches, so it won’t affect us.”