The second edition of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League (PVL), Powered by A23, is set to begin its final leg in the city of Kochi starting this Friday.
The tournament, which began on February 4, has already had matches across Bengaluru and Hyderabad and is now ready to give the volleyball fans in Kerala a taste of the thrilling sporting spectacle.
In the first game of the Kochi leg, Calicut Heroes will face off against Chennai Blitz at the Regional Sports Centre (Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium).
Prior to the opening encounter on Friday, many of the leading faces from the event attended the press conference held at the Kochi Marriott Hotel on Thursday afternoon. In attendance were PVL CEO Joy Bhattacharjya, Kochi Blue Spikers owner Thomas Muthoot and Calicut Heroes co-owner Safeer PT, along with Kochi Blue Spikers attacker Erin Varghese, Calicut Heroes attacker Ashwin Raj, Chennai Blitz blocker Akhin GS, Hyderabad Black Hawks blocker John Joseph, Ahmedabad Defenders captain Muthusamy Appavu, Bengaluru Torpedoes universal Ibin Jose, Kolkata Thunderbolts setter Janshad U, and Mumbai Meteors libero Ratheesh CK.
Addressing the atmosphere seen in the previous two legs, Bhattacharjya said:
“This is the best volleyball that is happening in the country right now, and the kind of response that we have received from the spectators is a testament to that. We are eager to begin the Kochi leg to showcase to the fans here the level of competition that is happening in the country. We hope the fans turn up in large numbers to enjoy the league.”
Speaking on the popularity of volleyball among the fans in Kerala, Calicut Heroes co-owner Safeer PT said:
“We have seen the level of investment the fans have shown this season, especially for the Calicut team. Fans have shown up in large numbers to different cities and have to show their support. We are confident of seeing a similar response from the fans here in Kerala and we are thrilled for the opportunity to show fans what we are capable of.”
Kochi Blue Spikers owner Thomas Muthoot praised the PVL for giving the Indian volleyball stars a true platform for making a difference in the sport said, stating:
“We are grateful to the RuPay Prime Volleyball League for giving the volleyball talent, not only from Kerala but from all over India, to showcase their talent globally. We have always had talented players in our country and all we needed was the right push. The league is doing that for our players and I am confident soon, India will be among the top volleyball nations.”
Calicut Heroes attacker Ashwin Raj spoke on his team’s upcoming contests:
“We are excited to play in front of the fans in our home state. Kerala has always been big on volleyball and we truly want to show what we are capable of after facing our defeat against Ahmedabad Defenders this season. We will give Chennai a good fight.“
Chennai Blitz blocker Akhin GS, who has been in good form this season, said:
“We still believe we can get wins in the tournament. We have a good quality of players in our team and while Calicut are a strong team and will enjoy home crowd support, we are equally capable of potentially causing an upset.“