Stage set for epic action in Chennai as RuPay Prime Volleyball League stars kick off Season 3 in style

~ Ahmedabad Defenders will face off Chennai Blitz in the opening game; Bengaluru Torpedoes to face Kolkata Thunderbolts ~

National, 14th February 2024: With the third season of RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 set to begin, all the captains of the nine franchises came face to face in a grand Pre-Season Press Conference at The Taj Club House in Chennai on Wednesday. The defending Champions Ahmedabad Defenders will face off against the hosts Chennai Blitz in the opening clash on Thursday, while last season’s runners-up Bengaluru Torpedoes will take on the Season 1 winners Kolkata Thunderbolts on the first day of the tournament.

Speaking at the press conference, Ahmedabad Defenders skipper Muthusamy Appavu made the intentions clear that the franchise will be gunning to make it two titles in a row. “There is always pressure when you enter the tournament as the defending Champions. It puts a target on your back. But it also motivates the players in equal measure and we are eager to showcase our skills once again. We have a new coach, the vastly experienced Dragan Mihailovic Sir, and we have had a tremendous pre-season. Now it is all about the execution of our plans.”

Chennai skipper Akhin GS said his side will have an advantage with the home crowd support and will rely on the noise from the fans. “The coach of the previous season’s winners Dakshinamoorthy Sir has been a major boost for us this season. We feel confident that we are on the right track entering the first game. We also expect a lot of support from the home crowd and we expect them to pack the stands in huge numbers and make their voices heard. Their support will help us go a long way.”

Meanwhile, both Torpedoes and Thunderbolts retained Pankaj Sharma and Ashwal Rai, respectively as Captains for the coming season. “Despite all the challenges last season, we managed to reach the final and were just inches away from grabbing the trophy. This year, we will give it all to ensure we get our hands on the title,” Pankaj said.

“We know what it takes to be a Champion and all our players are training with a similar mindset. We want to be the first team in RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 to win the trophy twice, and we are confident we will achieve our targets,” Ashwal added, ahead of the first encounter.

Meanwhile, Calicut Heroes announced Jerome Vinith as the skipper for the season, while Hyderabad Black Hawks named the veteran Ranjit Singh as the Captain. Kochi Blue Spikers handed over Captaincy to Jithin N, Mumbai Meteors named Hardeep Singh as Captain, and the new franchise Delhi Toofans picked Saqlain Tariq to lead the franchise in Season. 3

Addressing the media at the press conference, Tuhin Mishra, Managing Director & Co-Founder at Baseline Ventures Pvt Ltd said, “We are delighted to come to Chennai and showcase another exciting edition of RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23. The fans here have been clamouring to have home games and we have some of the best talents, not just from India, but from all over the world, arriving in this beautiful city. We cannot wait to see what will happen and this season is truly unpredictable.”

Ramesh Yadav, Chief of Marketing, NPCI said, “The league has truly grown each year, and we are extremely elated to once again be a part of this story of the rise of volleyball in the country. Volleyball is about speed, agility, innovation, and great teamwork, which is closely aligned with the philosophy and ethos of RuPay brand. We continue to work with Prime Volleyball league teams by ensuring larger groups participate in the games across respective states and cities, this year we have advanced our partnership with Brahmaputra Volleyball league extending it to a greater geography in the northeast, focussed on improving the outreach of the game and to develop volleyball at the grassroots level. We believe that the game is about to get bigger better and more competitive.”

Following the success of the first two seasons, the third season of the ‘Asli Entertainer’ RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 will be aired on Sony Sports Network in five languages – English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Fans can anticipate another thrilling season of RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 and experience the excitement of top-tier teams battle it out on the volleyball court starting 15th February 2024, 6:30 PM onwards, Live on Sony Sports Network and will be available to livestream on SonyLiv.

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