Gujarat Fortunegiants were led by K. Prapanjan and Sachin as they overcame a deficit to score a narrow 29-27 victory over Telugu Titans at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Vizag on Friday. Representing Gujarat Fortunegiants at the post-match press conference were captain Sunil Kumar and coach Manpreet Singh. Telugu Titans were represented by assistant coach Sai Prasad and Nilesh Salunke.
Q: What do you consider to be the turning point of the game?
Manpreet Singh: The team played the entire game really well. K. Prapanjan got us two points, which led to the match turning in our favour. Sachin got us key points as well. But the turning point of the game occurred when we tackled Rakshith. He was one raider who was getting points consistently for Telugu Titans. Tackling him ensured that we had the game in our grasp. Our defence didn’t break in front of Rahul Chaudhari and ensured they didn’t give him a point in the end which won us the game.
Q: What do you have to say about your offence in today’s match?
Manpreet Singh: The end result of the game depends on how you plan for the match. Telugu Titans have a very strong defence and it was important for us to know when to use our raiders. We also planned out which chain and Corners to attack for specific situations. The team played according to that strategy. The game could have gone either way and the raiders performed well. But I expect more from them.
Q: Would you say this was a complete team effort with regards to your defence?
Sunil Kumar: Before halftime, our defence was struggling to get us tackle points. Even though we inflicted an All-Out on them, it was mostly due to the efforts of our raiders. We recovered as a unit in the second half and ensured that we kept Telugu Titans’ raiders at bay for most of the half.
Q: Tell us about the final raid of the match?
Nilesh Salunke: Gujarat Fortunegiants were leading by one point and didn’t have a Do-or-Die raid coming up, so they could have afforded to sit back on their lead. We didn’t have that luxury. The plan was to at least try for a point and not return without trying. However, we were out of time in the end.
Q: What was the difference between the first and the second half?
Sai Prasad: At the end of the first half, Gujarat Fortunegiants were leading. So we changed a few strategies. We wanted to increase the pace of the game, so we didn’t play on the Do-or-Die raids as much in the first half. On the other hand, Gujarat Fortunegiants were playing on the Do-or-Die raids. However, we started playing on the Do-or-Die raids as well after the interval and that got us the lead. We also had to conserve our energy towards the end of the game. Going ahead, we have to rectify the mistakes we made in both departments today.