Friday, June 23, 2017

The game which made me believe in, "Do or Die."

Central Zonals Finals 2014.

April 4th


The match which stayed with me whenever I was at the verge of doubt or low in confidence.

It's my Captain words which stayed with me whenever I was doubtful with lot of problems.
L to R: Raghu, Rathod, Sai, Chinmay, Vikas, Prudhvi, Bhargav, Vineel, Meher, Wilson, Hemanth, Madhu, Uday and me.

April 4th 2:00 pm

The sun was so high and we were scorched to the heat. Looking at the temperature, we warmed up little at the fear of dehydration. As we started the match, we were confident to take the cup home, beating CVSR with great lead.

As the match progressed, 5 minutes later with decent lead,  front defence Vineel was sliding towards left shooting forward and was trailing him till  the corner.

At Centre, Captain Raghu was waiting to give a block as he raises for a shot. Before everything happens in normal way, ball handler raced towards the basket and Vineel with great force trailed him. As Vineel trailed him, he lost the balance and only when Raghu jumped to block the shot, Vineel was pushed towards Raghu and Raghu bhai had a wrong landing.

In fraction of seconds, he fell on ground, holding his leg wailing in pain. We were rooted to the spot looking at it. As we neared him, we saw him struggling with pain.

I never saw him in pain. We were panicked. We were worried.  He was taken to bench and the game was resumed.

Though every player was strong, the whole team chemistry got messed up. Captain's injury impacted everyone mentally. Everyone were in fear and started losing the lead slowly.

Two Quarters and, we were down by 10 points. Rest of the team ensured to defend strongly but, still the lead was same till 3rd quarter.

When everyone thought that things are going out of hand, Raghu bhai started tieing the shoe lace, getting ready to get onto  the court. The sight of him getting ready for the game  made my jaws drop.

As I was next to him witnessing what was happening, I couldn't believe that he was getting ready to play. His ankle was swollen badly, that was a very bad injury for sure.  He was in great pain. Despite injury, he decided to play.

Lesson1: Zero excuses!

He wanted the team to win at any cost! He never bothered about his leg, he never bothered about any other thing when he decided to win this game.

We were 10 down and Raghu Bhai entered the game. As he took position, he went no where from the defence postion. He reached front from centre, hopping to stop the ball and  raised his hands full, not letting the opponents shoot.

I  couldn't believe what I was watching. He was there defending wherever possible. It was man to man defence play but, still Raghu Bhai  was at the centre defending someone or  the other.

As he started defending, rest of the team started scoring well and we were 4 down.

Soon after, things were getting heated up, Raghu Bhai handled the ball at offence, wading through centre against heighters.

He just had an injury but, he was being himself, being aggressive and started attacking the basket. He converted some, he also earned few free throws.

Lesson2: Focus

The whole crowd was against VNRVJIET despite the show stopping plays and performance. Everyone were booing and everyone were sledging when he was at the free throw line.

Not only he converted those free throws, he also was silent thinking to finish the game.

Lesson3: Don't lose focus till you finish the work which you need to do.His focus at pressure bewildered me. Whole crowd was against him and he kept focusing on what he needs to do at the worst conditions. Though he was tortured physically and mentally he kept playing to win. Only after we got a decent lead, he indicated  the score board to the crowd who was booing us.

While everything is happening, Raghu Bhai asked Sai Anna, "Do you want to play?"

Knowing that it's their last game to play for VNR, Raghu Bhai cared to ask Sai Anna if he was interested to play.  Sai Anna, knowing everything denied to play letting the tempo continue.

At that point, Raghu Bhai cared to ask! He was always concerned about everyone in the team. Sai Anna wouldn't bother if he had not played at the last match, as game was going well.  Raghu bhai gave a thought at that point of the game.

Those mere words were enough to make sure that he always thinks about team.

Lesson4: Be concerned about team
After a tight game,

He was there till the end of the game winning and make us win as a team. 

Me with Raghu Bhai
He made me believe in "Do or Die!"

Post Game Picture <3 td="">

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