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PVL: Ahmedabad Defenders set to face Kolkata Thunderbolts in final (preview)

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Hyderabad, Feb 26 (IANS) After 23 matches of intense competition, the Prime Volleyball League (PVL) is all set to witness the Ahmedabad Defenders and Kolkata Thunderbolts face-off for the trophy at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Ahmedabad Defenders defeated Hyderabad Black Hawks 4-1 (15-13, 15-12, 9-15, 15-12) in the first semi-final on Thursday to reach the final while Kolkata Thunderbolts blanked Calicut Heroes 3-0 (16-14, 15-10, 17-15) in the second semi-final on Friday.

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“We have coordinated very well as a team. We didn’t think about the final at the beginning of the competition; we took it one game at a time. Now we are here and hope we can continue to play the same way in the final too,” said Muthusamy, captain of Ahmedabad Defenders in the pre-final virtual press conference.

“We will play according to the strategies set by our coaches. I feel we have to improve our defensive game. Hopefully, we can rectify our mistakes and put up a good performance in the final,” he said.

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Kolkata Thunderbolts, on the other hand, made a fantastic comeback in the third set of their semi-final against the Calicut Heroes. Speaking about the sensational comeback, captain Ashwal Rai remarked, “When we were 1-8 down, our coaches told us to stay calm since we were already 2-0 up in the match. They also told us that the set is not over until a team reaches 15 points and if we keep trying then we will keep winning points.”

“So, we went into the court with confidence and decided that we will not give up until the set is over. We won the set because of our teamwork and coordination. We did something that seemed impossible and we will go into the final with a lot of confidence after our semi-final win,” he said.

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Talking about the whole tournament, CEO Joy Bhattacharjya expressed happiness over some matches in the league becoming a nail-biting affair. “It’s been absolutely amazing. We knew that the quality of volleyball will be very high, but the thing that surprised us was the evenness of the teams. Many matches have been decided on 14-14 & 14-15 and matches have been decided on one Super Serve or one good smash and that was really heartening to see.”

“All the teams did their homework. We produced enthralling volleyball for everybody. As a league, as a product, we saw something that was absolutely top quality.”

–IANS

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