Ahmedabad Defenders won the Rupay Prime Volleyball League,Season 2 at Kochi in a edge of the seat thriller. The finals was definitely a cracker of a contest. The Bengaluru Torpedoes coached by Olympian David Lee on paper not so strong ,did put in a strong performance.
Due credit to Olympic Gold medallist David Lee for having moulded these young guns into a fighting unit given the limited resources,especially time. Bulgarian Tsvestonov and Iranian Alireza Abalooch the two foreign imports shone in patches, setter Vyshak was found wanting, the two young middle blockers Mujeeb and Jishnu would have learnt a trick or two from the Champion Middle Blocker David Lee himself.
Our department employee, Sethu was the player who took the fight in to the opposition camp with his back to back booming jump serves in set 3 after the Ahmedabad Defenders won the first two sets rather comfortably. Set 3 saw the reemergence of a different Torpedoes,Sethu made it 6-0 in set 3 and Captain Pankaj was in his elements. Midway the Torpedoes ran in to rought weather,but claimed the 3rd set at 18-16,went on to win the 4th set at 15-13.
Dakshinamurthy Sundaresan the seasoned Coach of Ahmedabad Defenders had the luxury of fielding 5 of the starting 6 players who have learnt this beautiful game under his tutelage.Setter Muthu, Wiry Opposite Angamuthu, Middle Blocker Manoj,Wing Spikers Santosh and LIbero Srikanth,having taught them the basics and seen them blossom in to excellent players, Dakshinamurthy ensured the players maintain their cool and breast the tape. The last time round the team faltered at the final hurdle having lost to Kolkatta Thunderbolts,3-0, he knew what was required.In Setter Muthu and Opposite Angamuthu he had a dependable duo who maintained their composure in tough moments.Middle blockers Manoj and David Moatzadi of Iran were pillars of strength and tightened the first form of defence, the block and managed some brilliant first tempo attack. Young guns Santosh and Nandha came up with some timely spikes to keep the score board ticking.Nandagopal of the STC Pollachi was a worthy replacement for the injured Shonty John.Libero Srikanth as usual manned the back court with aplomb.
All in all a well organized Rupay Prime Volleyball League 2nd edition won by Team Ahmedabad Defenders came to a spectacular close in the august presence of Fabio Azavedo, Director,FIVB and Finn Taylor, CEO Volleyball World.India will be hosting the FIVB World Club Championships at the end of the year, and Ahmedabad Defenders are assured of participation in the event scheduled from 6th December -10th December.We have seen the likes of Leon Venero,Osmany Juantereno,Alexander Volkov,Sergei Granikin,Facundo Conte play here in India at the junior level,now we will get to see the likes of Earvin Ngapeth,Gianelli,Lavia,Russo,Brizard,Patry,Bruno Wallace,Leal and Lucarelli among others.Thanks to Baseline Ventures for bringing some high quality Volleyball to India.
Contributor: G V Madhav,former National Volleyball player and Bronze Medallist ,World Police & Fire Games.