Ahmedabad Defenders were crowned the champions of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23 Season 2 after defeating Bengaluru Torpedoes 3-2 (15-7, 15-10, 18-20, 13-15, 15-10) in an exciting final on Sunday, March 5.

The two teams played an absolute banger of a game and the topsy-turvy nature of the match was such that it went all the way to the fifth set to decide the winner.

Ahmedabad Defenders made a stunning start to the game, winning each of the first two sets, forcing Bengaluru to give it their all in the third round. The Pankaj Sharma-led side not only pulled a set back but went on to equal the score 2-2, making the final set a decisive one.

After a major setback, the Defenders rolled up their sleeves to get momentum going, and eventually won the final set to get their hands on the coveted trophy.

A match full of drama was bound to produce several key moments and here we look at three of them.

Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson once famously said, “Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles.” The quote was brought to life on Sunday by Ahmedabad Defenders.

After a rather cagey start, the Defenders made sure to guard their territory while also keeping the intensity high in the attack. Take the first set for instance; the difference in points might explain the fact that they were brutal in offence, but one must note that they also made as many as three blocks compared to Bengaluru’s one.

In all fairness, Danial Moatazedi’s block to make it 5-5 was the turning point in the first set. From that point on, the team conceded just two points while scoring 10. The story continued in the second set and if they had failed to do so early in the contest, the anecdote of the final could have been very different.

Unforced errors force Bengaluru to settle for less

Bengaluru made a decent start to the first set. In fact, it was Sethu TR who opened the scoring for his side but as the match progressed, the efficiency diminished. In the first set alone, the team made as many as five errors compared to Ahmedabad’s one. Interestingly enough, most of Bengaluru’s errors were made while serving.

For what it’s worth, one must remember that this was the team who kept on delivering Super Serves in their semi-final tie against Kolkata Thunderbolts. So a dreary return in serving such as this in the final was the last thing they would have hoped for.

By the end of the match, the number of unforced errors for Bengaluru rose to 22 while the same for Ahmedabad was 12.

A game of real character

Going from 0-2 down to matching the score by the fourth set needs real conviction. Once Ahmedabad established a 2-0 lead, almost everyone in the arena and those watching at home made peace with the fact that it was game, set and championship for the Defenders.

As it turned out, Bengaluru marked a stunning comeback to make the final live up to its expectations. While the team did make a few errors along the way - most notably when they went from leading the third set 6-0 to going down 12-11 - the desire to never give up did the trick.

What’s more commendable is that Ahmedabad were at the receiving end of as many as two championship points in the third set, but Pankaj Sharma’s men made sure they didn't get away with the title that easily.

By the fourth set, Ahmedabad started to threaten once again, but little did they know what was in the offing. By the time the score was 4-1 in favour of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru went on to match the figure at 8-8 and from there on, the set was won 15-13. Thrilling as it may have been, it was heartbreaking to realise that only one team could win the final.