The league games of the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League season 8 ended with another triple panga night. Three playoff spots were vacant and five teams were in contention.
Jaipur Pink Panthers had a very simple equation in front of them to qualify for the last six. They just had to beat Puneri Paltan. But instead, they suffered a 30-37 defeat and lost the opportunity to play in the next stage.
Mohit Goyat (High 5) and Aslam Imandar (Super 10) starred for PP, while the efforts of Arjun Deswal for the Panthers went in vain. He scored 18 raid points but didn’t get any support from any other team member.
After this win, the Paltan were given a slight hope to qualify for the last six. They needed either one of the Gujarat Giants or the Haryana Steelers to lose their game, and that’s exactly what happened as Steelers were beaten by Patna Pirates later in the day.
U Mumba, who were already out of the race for the playoffs, had the opportunity to spoil the party for Gujarat Giants. The Giants needed a victory to qualify for the playoffs, and they achieved just that by winning 36-33.
The Giants came in with a clear strategy, and that was to target Abhishek Singh, not only got out in his raids but was also targeted by the opposition’s raiders. He was mostly kept out of the mat. The result of which was that he could only manage a single raid point.
For Gujarat, Rakesh and Girish starred with big performances as they got a super 10 and a High 5 respectively. The Giants qualified for the playoffs by finishing fourth on the points table. They will now face Bengaluru Bulls in the second eliminator on February 21.
Haryana Steelers had their faith in their own hand as they just needed to beat Patna Pirates to qualify for the playoffs. Steelers loss against the Pirates meant that Puneri Paltan qualified ahead of them as earlier in the day they won their game against the Panthers.
A tied result wouldn’t have been enough for the Steelers, who eventually lost the game by 30-27. Going into the last minute, the scores were tied 27-27, but Vikas Khandola got out in a do or die raid in a super tackle situation which gave Patna an important lead going into the last 30 seconds.
For the Pirates, Sachin took eight raid points while Mohammad Chiyaneh managed yet another High 5. For the Steelers, Jaideep finished with a High 5 and Ashish took eight raid points, but those were not enough in the end.