Welcome to the live blog for the Kolkata Thunderbolts vs Bengaluru Torpedoes semi-final match in Prime Volleyball League (PVL) 2023 Kochi leg.

The final phase of the Prime Volleyball League (PVL) 2023 will get underway at the Regional Sports Centre, Kochi, from Friday, with Kolkata Thunderbolts and Bengaluru Torpedoes meeting in the first semi-final.

Going into the semi-finals, Ahmedabad Defenders have looked dangerous with their attacking prowess. They won five out of their six matches. They are on top of the table with 11 points with one game to go. Kolkata Thunderbolts, the defending champions from the inaugural season, have also the same number of wins. However, they are in the second position on the table with 10 points with one game to play. On the other hand, Calicut Heroes are in third, while the Bengaluru Torpedoes are in fourth with 8 points.

Speaking ahead of their semi-final match, Vinit Kumar, who plays as a Universal for the Kolkata Thunderbolts talked about the team’s and his individual performance. He said, “The team has played exceptionally well this season. The players are fully motivated and are looking forward to the playoffs.

“My approach is that I consider every match in the tournament as the last one and the better I perform, the more I can build trust and confidence for myself in the team. I believe in playing without any pressure,” he added. 

Pankaj Sharma, who plays as an attacker for Bengaluru Torpedoes, expects a high-intensity battle in the semi-finals.

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“It is an important game and everyone will give their best to secure a place in the final. I want to give full credit to the support and coaching staff for the comeback that the team has shown after the first two matches.” 

Talking about the team’s strategy, Pankaj added, “Each team has a different strategy depending upon their opponents. It might change according to the situation but everyone will be doing their homework. We are doing the same so that we are well-prepared for anything that comes our way.”

Ahmedabad Defenders, who have been dominating games will be looking to maintain their winning form. Danial Moatazedi, who plays as a middle-blocker for the franchise is confident that the team has the potential to go all the way. He said, “I believe that the team has a lot of potential. We believe in our skills and game and we know that if we stick to our plan and execute them properly, we will easily cruise along.” 

Danial also talked about the team’s strategies and the areas that his team have been focusing on ahead of the semi-finals. “We are not changing our strategies. However, we are focused on blocking the ball better and converting our negatives into positives. We are also watching our opponents closely, how they are playing, and what are their strengths.” 

Where & How to watch?

The Prime Volleyball League (PVL) 2023 will be telecast LIVE on Sony Sports Ten 1 (English), Sony Sports Ten 3 (Hindi), Sony Sports Ten 4 (Tamil & Telugu) & Sony Sports Ten 2 (Malayalam) channels in India. The live streaming will be available on Volleyball World TV outside the Indian subcontinent, starting February 4, Saturday.

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