Patna Pirates banked on captain Pardeep Narwal’s 27-point effort to defeat Puneri Paltan 53-36 on Friday. Representing Patna Pirates at the post-match press conference were coach Ram Mehar Singh and captain Pardeep Narwal.

Patna Pirates

Q. How does it feel to be closer to a Playoffs spot?

Ram Mehar Singh: We focus on one game at a time. The aim is to plan and train for the next game. With a few more victories under our belt, we’ll certainly make it to the Playoffs. We’ve been champions three straight years so making it to the Playoffs is the bare minimum that can be expected from us. I can’t say for certain that we’ll be there, but we’ll try to make it one step at a time.

Q. Only 1 point in your previous game and 27 today. What changed?

Pardeep Narwal: Sometimes it just isn’t your day. Today was my day and I got 27 points. Even when we played on the Do-Or-Die raid, things just fell perfectly in place.

Q. Was there any pressure to perform on Pardeep Narwal?

Ram Mehar Singh: He’s the reigning two-time MVP and the best raider we’ve got. If he doesn’t have a good game the team will definitely be under some pressure. But once Pardeep Narwal gets going, he’s unstoppable.

Q. Pardeep Narwal has added more skills to his bag of tricks. How do you hone such a talent?

Ram Mehar Singh: When Pardeep Narwal burst onto the scene, he focused on the moves that got him points. But the game has evolved since then and you can’t be a one-trick-pony. Teams assess and strategise against every top player. Teams try different things, like a double-chain or triple-chain against him, but Pardeep is fearless and attacks his usual zones regardless. That could leave him vulnerable, so we’ve worked with him to surprise the opponent with new moves. If he can execute them on the mat, that obviously adds a new dimension to our attack.