Jaipur,26th June 2023 The star players from each of the four semi-finalists for the ongoing Premier Handball League (PHL) attended a press conference before the start of the dramatic knock-out phase of the thrilling tournament. The four teams that will be playing the semi-finals of the PHL are Maharashtra Ironmen, Telugu Talons, Rajasthan Patriots and Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh.
Maharashtra Ironmen were the first team to book their berth in the semi-finals as they finished top of the table at the end of the league phase. They were followed by Telugu Talons who ended the league phase in second spot. The home team Rajasthan Patriots finished third in the league phase as they booked their spot in the semi-finals by being one of the most consistent teams in the league. The Patriots are also the only team that defeated the Maharashtra Ironmen. The fourth and final team was the Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh, who after faltering in the early stages of the league made a dramatic comeback in the final stages to book their berth in the semi-finals of the PHL.
The first semi-final will be played between Maharashtra Ironmen and the Rajasthan Patriots, the clash promises to be a highly entertaining affair. The game will be played on the 24th of June 2023 and will kick off at 7 pm.
Captain of the Rajasthan Patriots, Atul Kumar was present at the press conference, he spoke about his team’s approach going into the highly anticipated semi-finals. Atul said, “Our team’s main strength is the team unity we have, the bond all the players share. I think that will prove pivotal for us in the semi-final and help us reach the final. Luckily for us all the players have been playing their roles perfectly so far in the league and have consistently been contributing to the team’s success. We all try to stay calm in tough situations during the matches and stick to our coach’s instructions no matter the situation so we will have the same approach for the semi-finals.”
One of the star players of the Maharashtra Ironmen, Manjeet Kumar talked about what has worked for his team so far in the tournament while looking ahead at the semi-finals, he said, “I believe in the sport of handball the most important thing is to be aggressive in the way you approach it but you have to make sure at all costs that you keep your composure while being on the front foot. We also make sure we always stick to the strategy the coach has devised for us to secure the win. We have been able to do that thus far in the league and this mindset of our team will be vital to how we perform in the semi-finals.”
The second semi-final will see two of the strongest attacking teams in the league take on each other as the Telugu Talons will clash with Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh. The game will be played on the 24th of June 2023 and will kick-off at 8.30pm.
Vikas Kumar, Captain of the Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh has been a driving force behind his team’s resurgence in the league, talked about where he feels the game will be won or lost. Vikas said, “I think the first 10 minutes of the game and the final 15 minutes of the game are crucial. The match is won or lost in those phases. So, we have to make sure we do not give in to pressure at this point. Fortunately, our players are coming into form, including me, going into the semi-finals. We will try to be as calm as possible and try to stick to the tactics that the coach has come-up with for us to secure the win in the semi-finals. ”
Captain of the Telugu Talons, Shubham Sheoran talked about what he feels will give his team an edge against the Golden Eagles in the semi-finals. He said, “Our greatest strength as a team thus far has been our ability to comeback and rally despite being behind. That has allowed us to turn games around in a short span of time during the matches. We are also lucky to have Fernando as our coach as his innovative tactics have made us one of the most cohesive teams in the league. With Rahul in our goal, we also boast one of the most resolute defences in the league which will surely give us an edge over our opponents in the semi-finals.”
The two semi-finals will be filled with high-octane action and be played in front of a packed Sawai Mansingh Indoor Stadium in Jaipur. The winners from the two semi-finals will take on each other in the grand final which will be played on the 25th of June 2023 with the game kicking-off at 7pm. At the end of the finals the winner of the inaugural season of Premier Handball League will be crowned to cap-off a successful tournament.
The Premier Handball League (PHL), is sanctioned by the South Asian Handball Federation and affiliated with the Asian Handball Federation (AHF). The inaugural season of the Premier Handball League kicked off on June 8 and will run until June 25, 2023, which will be broadcast on the Viacom18 network on JioCinema, Sports 18-1 (HD & SD) and Sports 18 Khel.