INTAKI PRIME – Kendu Kanarma fans were stunned this week by the upset victory of the Kapda Cannons over the reigning champion Intaki Interceptors. The Cannons, coached this year by former all-star player Saavin Singh, scored early in the first season and never let up.
Trailing 2 to 1 at the close of the third frame, the Interceptors tried to mount a Payas rally, but couldn’t overcome the Cannons’ defense. The match ended with a 4-2 score, the first time this year that anyone had scored more than 3 points against the Interceptors.
The match also marked the first time Singh had returned to an Intaki pitch since he was cut from the Interceptors’ active roster three years ago. In addition to appearing on six championship teams during his 10-year tenure on the team, Singh still holds the Interceptors’ all-time scoring record.
“It was good to be back on the grass,” Singh said following the match. “I think I even saw some people in the stands wearing my old jersey.”
Singh was wildly popular with fans, and the decision to cut Singh was a controversial one. However, Interceptors’ general manager Kimira Bhadava defended it again this week, echoing statements he made at the time.
“Kendu Kanarma is a team sport and no one player can be bigger than the team,” Bhadava said. “If this was not the case, tell me, why did no other teams pick him up?”
Singh will not comment as to whether other teams offered him a contract following his dismissal, but he all but disappeared from public life afterward. “Singh Sightings” placed him all over Intaki Space, but few of these could be confirmed.
His first official appearance took place just before the start of the season when it was announced that he would be taking over the coaching duties of the Cannons. Kapda’s hapless Kendu team finished dead last in the previous year’s standings, scoring only 12 points all season.
The turn around has been a slow process, however, and the Cannons are just now breaking even for the season with a record of 2 and 2. After losing their season opener to the Lagaana Griffins, the Cannons found victory in their first home match against the Duureanta Lions. A controversial penalty call late in their third game set up a tie-breaking (and game winning) point for the Sajha Mavericks.
“We’ve still got some things to work on, but overall I’m happy with where we’re at,” Singh said.
While each of the Cannons’ 4 points were scored by a different player, the team’s standout would have to be Daljeet LeFleur. LeFleur has a score in each game so far this season, with 6 assists and 10 solo blocks.
The Cannons will be on the road next week when they play the Ud’har Lightning. The Lightning (1-3) look to end a three-game losing streak with the return of Jaakar Depreet, who was suspended following their first game for unsportsmanlike conduct. Depreet, the Lightning’s lead scorer last year, continues to be a controversial figure on and off the pitch, leaving many to wonder if a Kenduzana player can make the transition to Kendu Kanarma.