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Pro Kabaddi Season 4: Despite draw, Bengal Warriors coach Pratap Shetty praises Jang Kun Lee

699   //    19 Jul 2016, 13:49 IST
Jang Kun Lee
Jang Kun Lee was again at his mesmerizing best against the Telugu Titans

Buoyed by the vociferous chants of support from the home crowd, the Bengal Warriors made a superb comeback only to concede a vital point in the dying minutes and draw the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi Season 4 match with the Telugu Titans 34-34 at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Monday. It was heartbreaking for both the team and the fans especially because now every match is crucial for the bottom-placed Warriors if they want to emulate their Season 3 feat of finishing in the top four.

Despite the obvious disappointment, coach Pratap Shetty refused to be in a sombre mood and spoke highly of his boys’ efforts. He admitted that there were mistakes but that did not overshadow the commendable job done by the entire team throughout the match.

“Yes, in the last five minutes, we made mistakes but that does not take away anything from the overall good effort given by the boys throughout the match. Mistakes happen and I am okay with it,” he said.

Not been able to win after building up good leads

Even in their previous assignment, they failed to tighten their grip and let the table toppers Patna Pirates escape, who ultimately came back to snatch the win from the Warriors.

Being pointed out that the Bengal side has shown a proclivity of building up good leads only to give it up under pressure, Shetty could not help but agree that it has been an unfortunate trend.

“It’s very unfortunate that we have been playing well but in many matches, we have been losing control and giving away vital points in the dying minutes.”

Languishing at the bottom, Bengal needed to grasp every opportunity coming their way to have any chance of making it through to the semi-finals. After Monday’s result, their chances certainly look slim but Shetty is still optimistic. With two more legs still to go, Bengal needs to keep a close watch on how others are performing.

“Our semi-final chances now do not depend that much on us especially after today’s result. They depend on how other teams fare in the competition because you never know what happens,” he explained, adding, “Two matches were such where we should have been the victor instead we ended up tying them and that certainly do not help our cause.”

Jang Kun Lee playing at an exceptional level

Questions then veered to the biggest talking point of the night – Bengal Warriors’ star raider Jang Kun Lee, who finished as the highest scorer from either side with a staggering 13 points, yet was left to rue his mistake in the last few seconds.

Shetty knows how invaluable Lee is to his team. He dazzled in the second half with his acrobatic skills that left the crowd in a gasp when he inflicted an all out on the third-placed Telugu Titans. His error certainly does not take away the brilliance that he has exuded so far not only in this season but even in the past three seasons that he has been with the Kolkata-based side.

The team mentor heaped effusive praise on his most dependable raider.

“Jang is playing exceptionally well. Whatever you tell him to do, he executes it beautifully with perfection. Yes, it is true there was a mistake from his side, but he still played very well today and even in the last few days as well.”

Captain Nilesh Shinde was then asked what strategy they would like to follow in their next few matches as there are only three left in the league for them.

The skipper believes that only an aggressive, powerful display is the way to go.

“We would like to play the way we have been doing lately, with the same strength and the same strategy. When a match starts, you never know who will emerge victorious since everyone is equally matched at the beginning. So, we would be looking at continuing this powerful display of aggression in all our remaining matches.”

The Bengal Warriors certainly have a chance to atone very soon when they face the sixth-placed Bengaluru Bulls at 21:00 hours tonight in Kolkata.

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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