Gujarat Fortunegiants were rock solid against home team Jaipur Pink Panthers on Friday and kept their wits about them to steal a 29-23 victory. Coach Manpreet Singh was overjoyed by the team’s performance and also the quality of matches thus far in the league.
“I am happy to see that the team is doing well and also enjoying the game, which is equally important. We have the talent and we are using it well,” said Manpreet. ”It is also good to see some closely fought matches being played. Overall, I think it is a win for kabaddi. It makes me proud to be associated with this sport.”
However, when asked if the Zone A leaders were keen on rotating their players now that they had one foot in the Super Playoffs, Manpreet said: “We have 19 players in the squad and each of them has got an opportunity to be on the mat in the 19 matches we have played so far. However, there are players who are fit and doing well for the team and as a coach I have to stick with the winning combination at least till we qualify for the Super Playoffs. We have some tough matches coming up and, barring Delhi, all of the teams from our zone have a shot at qualifying so we cannot let our guard down.”
Meanwhile, Jaipur Pink Panthers coach Balwan Singh was disappointed with the result and pinpointed exactly where the game slipped away from his team. “There was a moment when we had two players on the mat and we were trailing by just 2 points. If we had managed to tackle the raider at that point then we could have equalised and then gone on either for a win or a draw from there. However, that one mistake cost us the game,” said Balwan.
Captain Manjeet Chhillar believes his side has been a little short on luck this season largely due to injuries. “Unfortunately for us, our team has been affected by injuries at vital junctures unlike the others in our pool and that has affected us as a unit. However, we still have 6 games to play and we still have a shot at the Super Playoffs,” he said.