Patna Pirates completed a hat-trick of VIVO Pro Kabaddi titles after beating Gujarat Fortunegiants 55-38 in the final on Saturday. It was an overwhelming feat and Patna coach Ram Mehar Singh was justifiably overjoyed with the love and appreciation his team received from the crowd in Chennai. “It felt like most of the spectators here wanted Patna to win. I even told Pardeep that the crowd had come to see him in action and witness what he would do today. That gave him confidence to do better,” said Singh speaking at the post-match press conference.
The Patna coach said he was aware that Gujarat’s confidence would be high after beating them on the previous two occasions but the losses had also served to motivate Patna Pirates. “When we lost the first match to Gujarat Fortunegiants we couldn't digest it. I wanted to know how it happened and I kept thinking about it,” said Singh, “We lost quite a few matches in the league, but when we lost the second time against Gujarat that gave us added motivation to win the next time we face them.”
However even after his team’s dominating win, Singh was all praise for Gujarat Fortunegiants. “It is not just their defenders, their team has very good raiders as well. There's Sachin, Mahendra Rajput. But overall our raiders were superior, while their defenders were superior,” said Singh while reflecting on their opposition.
Patna’s second raider Monu Goyat, who also supported Pardeep Narwal’s massive effort by scoring 9 points of his own, meanwhile revealed what they had planned for the Iranian corner combination of Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mighani. “The coach told me to keep the corners under constant pressure,” said Goyat. “His advice was to attack the second or third [cover defence positions] because in the previous matches we were getting further into the corners unnecessarily and were getting tackled. So we changed our plan and attacked the number two or three [positions] repeatedly. I believe that is why we succeeded,” he said.
While optimistic about his team’s chances, Singh also revealed he wasn’t certain going into the match that they will definitely win. “It’s not like we went into the match certain that we would win. Anything could have happened. But today the situation was different. It was the final and we desperately wanted the hat-trick,” concluded Singh.