September 5, 2016 07:30 AM NPT
By: Kamal Khatri
Players of the New Diamond Volleyball Club pose with their trophy for a group photo after winning National Women’s Volleyball Tournament in Lamachaur, Pokhara on Sunday. ( Photo Courtesy : NSC )
POKHARA, Sept 4 : With dominant show from Pratibha Mali, New Diamond clinched the title of Lamachaur National Women’s Volleyball tournament defeating APF in straight sets on Sunday. New Diamond overcame APF 30-28, 25-15 and 25-20 to win the tournament for a record fourth time.
It was the fourth occasion New Diamond and APF vied for the title in the Lamachaur National Women’s Volleyball tournament. Pratibha Mali contributed highest 25 points for the winning team while Captain Lalita Nath and Panamika Rai scored eight and seven points respectively.
New Diamond’s coach Kumar Rai said that his team once again played to its potential.
“We are happy that Lamachaur has been lucky court for us. We have once again proved that New Diamond is the best team in the country,” coach Rai said.
Pratibha said that the coordination among her, Lalita and Panmika helped them register impressive victory. “The hard work of the team has made us champion. We were under pressure to win the title and we trained accordingly and came here with the target to lift the title. And we met our target,” said Pratibha.
Local supporters had cheered New Diamond chanting the names of Pratibha and Lalita during the game. In the beginning, APF had tried to stop New Diamond but failing to block Pratibha’s spikes at the later stage of the game saw the departmental team losing the first set. New Diamond kept the national players-studded APF at bay in the whole game.
New Diamond had beaten APF in the final game of the last edition of this tournament. However, it has failed to defeat the departmental team in other tournaments.
APF’s coach Sudesh Rimal said that his team lost the final due to weak receiving of his team. “We were poor at receiving and that affected the psychology of my players. And the opponents capitalized on our weakness,” He also said that his team couldn’t play according to the plan.
Coach Rimal also admitted that the absence of main spiker Saraswati Chaudhary affected the team as well. “Absence of main spiker obviously affects the performance but our team still has some other good players. We had problem with the setter, which affect the coordination of the team,” Rimal added.
Rimal had opted Manisha Tamang for the role of a setter in place of regular setter and Captain Binita Budhathoki.
Winner New Diamond dominated the individual prizes as Pratibha Mali was rewarded with the best player of the tournament award while Kripa Adhikari, Lalita Nath and Salina Shrestha were adjudged the best setter, best quicker and best defender of the tournament respectively. APF’s Reshma Bhandari was declared the best spiker. Manisha Khand of Army and Aruna Shahi of Tops School of Western Region were awarded the best blocker and best servicer prizes respectively.
Similarly, New Diamond’s defender Samiksha Ghimire and Lalita Nath were feted by Nepal Volleyball Association Treasurer and Western Region Volleyball Association President Chayam Bahadur Thapa for their impressive performances. New Diamond’s Captain Lalita Nath said that if the team performs up to its potential then it won’t be hard to be the number one volleyball team in Nepal.
“Everyone played well today. With this victory, our confidence level has been boosted. It will help us perform well in the upcoming NVA Cup,” said Lalita Nath.
Likewise, home team Tops School of Western Region grabbed the third position defeating Tribhuvan Army Club in straight sets of 25-16, 25-12 and 25-15. Aruna Shahi played impressive game for the winning team.
Winner New Diamond bagged Rs 75,000 while first and second runners-up were handed Rs 50,000 and Rs 20,000. Nepal Government’s former secretary Baburam Acharya; former president of Nawa Adarsha Samudayik Bikash Samaj, Dharma Singh Bhandari; Rana Bahadur Khatri, senior sales manager of Red Bull, the main sponsor of the tournament; Vice-President of Nepal Volleyball Association Yam Bahadur Gurung and its General Secretary Jitendra Bahadur Chand distributed the prizes.
Winner New Diamond, APF, Tribhuvan Army, Tops School of Western Region and Shreegaun had participated in the tournament that was organized on the occasion of Teej.