Goa Challengers start their final League match against Puneri Paltan with a leg into the semifinals of Ultimate Table Tennis, on their debut.
Goa Challengers are fourth on the table with thirty points and on fifth place are Mavericks Kolkata with thirty points having played all the games. Puneri Paltans are sixth with 23 points and only a whitewash of Goa Challengers could see them occupying the last semifinal slot.
“I think we were not prepared for our last match. We kept hoping that Cheng i-Ching would be ready for the tie. However, she wasn’t and our indecisiveness let us down,” Goa Challengers coach Bettine Vriesekoop told The Navhind Times over the phone from New Delhi.
“This can happen in sports and is not something to be astonished. She has recovered fully and we are now ready for our last league match on Wednesday,” assured Bettine.
“We were not completely overawed against U Mumba. We lost three golden points in the Tie and that in many ways effected our final points tally. I do not think we were overrun. We just allowed ourselves to be outfoxed,” claimed Bettine on the eve of Goa Challengers last league match.
“I am confident of our performance. I take one match at a time and instead of calculating how many points we need to qualify, the focus should be on enjoying the game. The players are set to enjoy themselves tomorrow (today),” claimed Bettine.
“We take every match as it comes. The focus now is on our final league match. We shall think of the semifinals when we have to play that match and the finals when we have to play the finals. The idea is to enjoy the match in hand,” said Bettine when informed that Goa Challengers start today against Pune with one foot in the semifinals.
The final Tie against Pune is being viewed as an opportunity for Goa Challengers to recoup themselves after having lost 4-11 to Pune, the same score with which they started their campaign in UTT. World number 8 Cheng I-Ching had taken ill and could not participate in the previous match against Dabang Delhi whom Goa beat 8-7.