Puneri Paltan beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 38-15 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Wednesday. Deepak Hooda scored a game-high 14 points for Pune and they climbed up to second in Zone A. Their win means the Paltan set up a mouth-watering contest with zone leaders Gujarat Fortunegiants in the last league match of the season on Friday. The match will decide who finishes the zone as toppers.
Assessing his side’s win at the post-match press conference, Pune coach BC Ramesh said: “We could have won yesterday [against Haryana Steelers]. There were some mistakes and the team didn’t execute our plans well. The strategy which we made today by letting Akshay [Jadhav] play was successful. Our defence was also looking good today. Ziaur Rahman played well and also Rinku [Narwal] played well. The strategies which we made today were very well executed by the defence and we were successful as well.”
While expanding on his strategy to rely on do-or-die raids, Ramesh revealed how he has a new plan in place to contain Gujarat. “When we played against Gujarat they [do-or-die raids] were not successful and yesterday also we made the same mistake in the-do-or die raids. So, this time we thought that we have to do something different to tackle this situation and we made our plans accordingly. So, the plans which we made were successful and whatever the players were instructed they followed to a tee,” he said.
When asked for his thoughts on the win, Pune skipper Hooda added: “Winning or losing is part of the game. In this league any team can beat any team. Even if a team is low on the points table they can beat the team which is on top. If we win our last match we will top our zone. So, there is no pressure and we have the support of our home crowd. We will play freely. It is our last match [of the league stage] and we will try our best to win it and we will play the same way we did today.”