Bengaluru (Karnataka)[India], February 4 (ANI): Prime Volleyball League season 2 is all set to kick off in Bengaluru as defending Champions Kolkata Thunderbolts gear up to face hosts Bengaluru Torpedoes.
The stage is set for another exciting season of the league with all the team captains along with tournament organizers addressing a press conference on Friday at the Renaissance Hotel in Bengaluru.
Amid the widespread craze among the fans to witness live volleyball action in the city, Prime Volleyball League CEO Joy Bhattacharjya spoke on the massive success the tournament has witnessed since the culmination of the first season.
"It's a very special occasion for us as we begin our second season after a tremendous first season. The league has increased in every way possible. We have Mumbai Meteors joining the pool of teams this year. We have partnered with International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) as well. The Volleyball Club World Cup is set to come to India and the stakes are exponentially higher this season as the winners will get to play in the tournament.
"We have truly upped the game, and the quality is much better this season. We are set to go for a cracking season and this will be the best volleyball ever seen in India," Joy Bhattacharjya asserted.
This time, the Prime Volleyball League will be spread across three cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Kochi, with the final to be played on March 5 in Kochi.
Addressing the future plans to sustain the popularity of the sport, Tuhin Mishra, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Baseline Ventures and Co-Promoter of RuPay Prime Volleyball League said, "We can expect a women's league in the future. Our target is to establish the men's league for the next few years. In the meantime, we are searching for a good basket of women with a group of 70-100 players to form a core group of players. We are planning to expand our league across the Northern region as well and there are discussions to bring in a team from North India sooner, rather than later."
He also went on to express gratitude to principal sponsors for their constant support in the journey.
"I have worked in this industry for 23 years. A lot of times brands come forward to partner with you but the relationship is often transactional. With pride I can tell you when we approached RuPay, they were so willing to come forward - they wanted to do a lot more than just putting up a logo. What they are doing for Volleyball is unprecedented in India," Tuhin Mishra said.
Lalita Nayak, In-charge Marketing NPCI, also addressed the media on the occasion, as she released a trailer of a 6-episode docuseries titled Volley Good Culture featuring the volleyball stars. In each episode, the player takes us through their own journey to the biggest stage of volleyball in India.
"We believe volleyball has a far and wide universal appeal and a good future in India. Like Volleyball, RuPay is about youthful quickness, vertical leaps in innovation, and a modern can-do attitude. It's only natural that we are partners for the game. Connecting to the last mile and the Urban with the rural, like NPCI is focused on increasing penetration of digital payments, similarly for Volleyball, this year we supported initiatives to expand the sport across the North-East region specifically Assam with the Brahmaputra League and the RuPay Volley culture series will hopefully bring more attention to the game at both grassroots and higher levels," she said.
Meanwhile, the Season 2 of Prime Volleyball League will see its first match on February 4 with the defending champions Kolkata Thunderbolts facing off against the hosts Bengaluru Torpedoes in what promises to be a cracking contest.
Thunderbolts Captain Ashwal Rai, who led the team to the trophy in the first season, spoke on the upcoming encounter and said, "We are ready to face our opponents. We have trained well and we know the players well who are present in the opposition team. There is no pressure of being defending champions, but it feels like a privilege. And we will hope to perform like the Champions."
Bengaluru Torpedoes Captain Pankaj Sharma also spoke on the upcoming match and said that the presence of the home crowd will give a major boost to his team in the match, "We have worked hard in the training sessions. We are the home team and we are confident the presence of fans in Bengaluru will help us go past a tough team like Kolkata Thunderbolts. We hope to get off the mark in a good way."
The league will be telecast live on Sony network on Volleyball World TV outside the Indian subcontinent, starting on Saturday. (ANI)