February 20, 2018 08:25 AM NPT
By: Kamal Khatri
Players of Armed Police Force pose with the trophy after winning the fifth Prime Minister Cup International Volleyball tournament at the Nepalgunj Covered Hall in Banke on Monday. (Republica)
BANKE, Feb 19: The departmental team Armed Police Force (APF) has given continuity to its dominance in women’s volleyball clinching the fifth Prime Minister Cup International Volleyball title on Monday.
The Armed Police defeated Shivam New Diamond in a competitive final 12-25, 25-21, 25-16, 21-25, 19-17 at the Nepalgunj Covered Hall in Banke to claim the PM Cup for the second time. The departmental team had won second edition of the tournament in 2015.
New Diamond made a good start to keep its title chase breathing. The team dominated the first set with the best spiking display from Pratibha Mali and Manju Gurung. But, due to their weak blocking, Armed Police made an easy comeback as player-of-the-match Saraswati Chaudhary contributed 36 points.
Despite incredible performance from spiker Mali, who added 54 points, New Diamond failed to overcome the challenge from Gurung, Nebika Chaudhary and Reshma Bhandari. Nebika Chaudhary and Bhandari contributed 21 and 21 points each.
The best spiker of the tournament, Mali, however, said that she could not play as expected. “We didn’t play under pressure. We should have been able to block the opponent’s spiking pattern in the second set. But we failed. Armed Police’s blocking was good,” said Mali.
“The game was very entertaining. We are happy despite the loss,” she added. ”We will try to improve in the coming days.”
Armed Police won three final matches against New Diamond in the past one month. Armed Police defeated New Diamond in the final of the first Mayor Cup Women’s Volleyball a week ago whereas New Diamond had beaten the departmental team in the Shivam New Diamond Cup in its home court.
Armed Police has reached the final of the Prime Minister Cup for the consecutive three times. It had lost to India Railway Team in the last two editions of the tournament.
Armed Police Coach Gyanendra Bista attributed weak receiving for the loss. “Mali and Kripa Adhikari scored many points from service. But, we returned to the game after our defence improved in the other sets,” said Bista.
“Our defence was poor in the final set, but we got success due to our experienced players,” he added.
In the match for third place, Nepal Police Club overcame Bangladesh-based Ifad Group of Women’s Volleyball Team.
National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista, Nepal Volleyball Association Vice-president Yam Bahadur Gurung, General Secretary Jitendra Bahadur Chand, Nepalgunj sub-metropolitan Deputy-mayor Uma Thapa, Sushil Koirala Memorial Institution Member Secretary Atul Koirala among others had handed over prized to the players. The winner team, Armed Police bagged Rs 200,000 while runner-up New Diamond got a purse of Rs 100,000. The third-placed Nepal Police took home Rs 50,000. The tournament was organized by Banke District Volleyball Association.