POKHARA, August 25: The Armed Police Force (APF) has lifted the title of the Red Bull National Women's Volleyball Tournament defeating Shivam New Diamond Academy in the summit clash on Friday.
APF registered straight sets win of 25-18, 25-18, 25-12 over the defending champion New Diamond in the final match played at Lamachaur, Pokhara.
Meanwhile, this was the first time in five years that APF overcame New Diamond in the final match of this tournament.
In the final matches of the last four editions, New Diamond had defeated the departmental team.
Earlier in the semifinal matches, champion APF had overcome departmental rival Nepal Police Club (NPC) while New Diamond had defeated the home team Western Region respectively.
After making his team champion in Pokhara, APF's coach Gyanendra Bista was delighted in being successful to take revenge over New Diamond. “Despite having quality players in the team, we were always losing the final matches against New Diamond in this tournament. So we were under immense pressure to stop them,” said Bista. “It was a must win match for us so we had developed special strategy and it worked.”
Bista also said that his players successfully executed their plan to stop the spike from New Diamond's key player Pratibha Mali and this was the other reason behind the victory.
Meanwhile APF dominated the individual awards while New Diamond's player failed to win any. APF spiker Saraswati Chaudhary was named best player of the tournament while Western Region's Pabitra BC and Aruna Shahi were announced best blocker and server respectively. Likewise, APF's Binita Budhathoki, NPC's Kamala Pun and APF's Usha Bista were awarded with best setter, libero and quicker simultaneously.
Meanwhile New Dimaond's coach Kumar Rai claimed that referee gave some wrong decisions which eventually brought his players under pressure. “The referee didn't take any action against the fouls made by APF setters which eventually affected my players' psychology. We suspect the referee's intention,” said Rai.
He also pointed out the poor performance by his spikers as other reason behind the outcome. “Pratibha didn't get enough help from fellow spiker Panamika Rai. When Pratibha was losing the points, Panamika should have helped her but that didn't happen,” added Rai.
“So eventually the spikers performing below the par affected our performance,” concluded Rai.
Meanwhile, NPC bagged the third position in the competition defeating Western Region 25-18, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22 in the third place play-off, held on the same day.