Pro Kabaddi League 2018: "If we can beat Patna, the road ahead will be open for us," says Bengal Warriors coach
With a superb 27-24 win over Tamil Thalaivas, Bengal Warriors not only regaled the home crowd in the opening tie at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Friday but also made their intentions very clear. The Warriors are eyeing that playoff berth and would leave no stone unturned to grab it.
The solid performance against the team from Chennai proved how hungry and determined they are right now. They are third in the Zone B standings currently and have plenty of opportunities to advance.
The Warriors showed that they do not want to waste any of those chances. The defence did lag behind in the initial stages of the match, that put the Thalaivas ahead in the first half.
But just before half-time, Bengal produced a wondrous Super Tackle that levelled the score at 15-15. That was pretty much what turned around the match as Bengal never fell behind after that.
With star raider Jang Kun Lee being in top form, he needed some able support in defence and his teammates obliged.
The Bengal coach Jagdish Kumble admitted that the defence did have loopholes at the start of the match but the way they came back was what helped them get the thrilling win.
“This was our third match of the league with the Tamil Thalaivas,” said Kumble. “We had won the earlier two. So we had confidence even before we stepped on to the court.
“But in the initial stages of the match, our defence wasn't up to the mark. Hence we lost a few points and the score became close in the end.
“This win will give us a huge boost ahead of our next few matches,” he added.
Jang Kun Lee was absolutely a sensation on Friday night. With the entire stadium chanting his name, the Korean made sure he did not let his supporters down.
He scored a whopping 12 points out of which 2 were even in defence. His subtle touches wreaked havoc on his opponents.
Bengal Warriors’ star defender Ran Singh thus heaped praise on Lee and hoped that they can get a win in their remaining matches as well if he remains in such devastating form.
“If Jang Kun Lee remains in this form, we can win all our remaining matches. We had pressure to win this match but Lee took away most of the burden and made it easy for the rest of us.”
The Warriors needed to make a statement in the opening match of their home leg. It was not just a message to other teams but it was also reassuring for their own confidence.
Since Telugu Titans were breathing down their neck, this win was much needed to help them maintain some distance from their rivals. And now with such a thunderous start at home, the Bengal Warriors are brimming with a lot of belief and motivation.
Up next for them are the three-time defending champions Patna Pirates, who are in the second position in Zone B and are yet to qualify for the playoffs. But their credentials hardly matter to Bengal after this robust all-round display. The Warriors are now not afraid of any team and are already dreaming of a win over the mighty Pirates.
“Patna are at par with us. If we can beat them, it can become easier for us and the road ahead will be open for us,” the coach signed off.Published 22 Dec 2018, 10:36 IST