Gujarat Fortunegiants did the double over Bengaluru Bulls in vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 after a 32-23 win over them at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. Moments after the final whistle, Gujarat Fortunegiants’ coach Manpreet Singh attended the post-match press conference, while skipper Rohit Kumar and defender Saurabh Nandal answered questions from the media on behalf of Bengaluru Bulls. Here are some excerpts.
Q. Coach, thoughts on the performance?
Manpreet Singh: Since Season 5, our strength has been teamwork. When there’s no teamwork, we struggle. We saw the tandem today that we hadn’t in the past few weeks. There’s still room for improvement.
Q. How were you able to stop Pawan Sehrawat?
Manpreet Singh: Pawan is someone who won’t settle for an empty raid. He’s a machine and his singular focus is scoring points. And aggressive raiders usually struggle against Gujarat Fortunegiants. Our defence knows how to combat raiders that rely heavily on touch points.
Q. Thoughts on raiders contributing in defence?
Manpreet Singh: The way the game is, it’s important for everyone to contribute. Raiders that don’t contribute to the defence are playing on teams that aren’t exactly doing well. So, it’s important for raiders to be able to tackle and contribute defensively.
Q. Was today’s win redemption for your defeat in last year’s final?
Manpreet Singh: We can’t dwell in the past. The final, the past seven matches. I let bygones be bygones. I focus on what we can do to affect our current results. What we can do during raids, tackles. So, we weren’t looking for redemption.
Q. Rohit, thoughts on the match?
Rohit Kumar: The game was being dictated by the third raid. We managed to tackle them during their do-or-die raids, and we returned the favour during our third raid. So, had one do-or-die raid gone in our favour at the back end of the game, we could have won the match. So, that’s where we lacked.
Q. Saurabh, thoughts on your performance?
Saurabh Nandal: It’s bittersweet. I'm pleased with my performance but the result, obviously, was not the one we would had hoped for.
Q. Rohit, thoughts on your defence's performance?
Rohit Kumar: They played extremely well. Saurabh was outstanding. Mahender (Singh) was also phenomenal. The raiders could have done well to support them. But I’m pleased with how the defenders performed.
A word for the fans.
Rohit Kumar: It’s good to be back home in Bengaluru after two years. I'd like to tell the fans to not be too disheartened by this result. There are still three matches to go at home. We'll give our best in the upcoming games and improve the results. So, keep believing in the team and keep supporting us.