“Credit to the team and the coaches who were responsible for our growing confidence. We worked on our weaknesses and the result is in front of you,” said a spirited captain of the Bengaluru Torpedoes team Pankaj Sharma as he collected the RuPay Player of the Match after his side’s inspiring 3-1 (15-10, 10-15, 15-13, 15-10) win against defending champions Kolkata Thunderbolts.

With the win, Bengaluru became the first team to qualify for the RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23 Season 2 final.

On paper, Bengaluru Torpedoes headed into the semi-final clash as the underdogs. After all, they had already been beaten by Kolkata earlier in this season. So all Bengaluru had to do was believe in themselves and as Sharma suggested, that was the key.

“There was no plan (for the game) really. Once we got the momentum, our confidence grew and that was the key,” he added.

For a team that had the likes of Ibin Jose and Tsvetelin Tsvetanov in attack, Pankaj Sharma was the last player anyone expected to outscore the aforementioned duo. The captain not only outdid his own teammates but his return of 12 points was the most any player could accrue across both teams.

Interestingly enough, 10 of his 12 overall points were tallied in attack alone which also includes a super serve. Such was his dominance on the night that he finished the game with an efficiency of 53.33 percent, having made just two errors in attack.

Now that the job is well done, what awaits the Torpedoes is the ultimate showdown on March 5 and the opponents of it will be the winner of Saturday’s semi-final clash between Ahmedabad Defenders and Calicut Heroes.