22-01-14:: What was touted by most punters to have been a walk-in-the-park victory for the Indian volleyball squads, turned out to be anything but, as they fought tooth and nail in the final match day of the round robin tournament.
The women’s match, saw Mozambique battle the hosts every step of the way, trading point for point, before India finally clinched Round 1 with a score of 25-20, After a frenetic exchange at the beginning of Round 2, India surged ahead, and eventually saw the score end at 25-12, The score from Round 3 was 25-14
At the end of the proceedings, the Captain of the India team, Melinda Pereira, said, “Primarily, we have to thank God above all else. We also need to thank Mozambique, for a fantastic performance that really pushed us to the maximum of our abilities. We had a great run out, on all fronts, and it has been a fantastic performance for us.”
Head Coach, R.P Tailor, concurred with his Captain, saying, “I agree wholeheartedly that we needed to put out our best performance today, and at times, we were severely tested. But right from our service to blocking, we excelled overall, and as such, eventually prevailed.”
Amilton De Barros, the Head-Coach of Mozambique, said, “What you witnessed in the first set, was the true potential of this team. As a coach, all I can do is impart training. Beyond that, we have no control over the team’s performance. Therefore, all of the first set, and everything that you witnessed, all comes down to the girls. Considering that we have been in training for merely 3 months, the performance from the women has been supremely good.”
His Team Captain, Joquina Roque, stated, “Yesterday, we struggled on all fronts. We found it really difficult to play, under the most severe of circumstances. Today, you saw what was nearly a completely different team in terms of performance on-court. We lost a little focus when we lost the first set, but right up until that point, we were right in the game. Admittedly, we were beaten by the superior team.”
The following match, which was the stand-off between Macau and India’s men’s squads had spectators on edge, as the squads set out to decide what the tournament’s final standings would be.
In Round 1, there were glimpses of Macau’s form that they put on display against Mozambique, but they were eventually overcome by the Indian team, with the score being registered at 25-15 (Time: 21 Minutes). Round 2 saw a India returning with even greater resolve, in an attempt to overrun their opponents, and did so in sound fashion, registering a score of 25-13 (Time: 20 Minutes). The final set was played in near clinical style, with India going for the jugular, scoring 25-16 (Time: 20 Minutes).
Overcome with emotion, the Indian Captain, Rama Krishna Dhawasker stated, “We had only one thing on our mind, and that was to play for the gold. Nothing else would do. Having steeled ourselves with that attitude, the rest was fairly straightforward.”
Lo Si U, Captain of the Macau team, looked back on the tournament fondly, saying, “India are a very powerful side, and their victory was warranted. I felt that we started just on level footing, but halfway into the first set, they completely took over and dominated.”
Head Coach of the squad, Sou Tong Man, spoke on the team’s performance, saying, “I reiterate what I said yesterday as well. After watching the game between Mozambique and Goa-India, we decided to work with a tactical approach to the game. Clearly, our opponents were superior, but I felt we had a good run out in this tournament.”
Ecstatic about the result, The coach of the India squad, A Venkatesan, said, “I want to thank everybody involved in making this tournament a success. We came with a physical and mental mindset to do our very best, and I think our players managed to do just that.”