KOCHI: Placed among the top four in the Prime Volleyball League (PVL), defending champions Kolkata Thunderbolts will be looking to keep the winning momentum going when they take on the Chennai Blitz in their next match here on Monday.
Kolkata Thunderbolts started their Season 2 campaign with a series of emphatic wins over their opponents. The franchise has already been pegged to be the favourites this year and is currently placed in the top 4 of the table.
Speaking ahead of their match against Chennai Blitz at the Regional Sports Centre here, Kolkata Thunderbolts’ Captain and middle-blocker, Ashwal Rai, who has been instrumental in orchestrating the team’s performance this season, said he is happy with how the players have performed so far in the league and feel that they have the potential to go all the way and lift the trophy for the second time consecutively.
“Our next match is against the Chennai Blitz and then we play Ahmedabad Defenders. We are just focusing on the game against Chennai. We are not thinking about what’s next after that.”
“We are taking it game by game. So far, our performance has been fantastic and I hope we can carry this winning mentality and winning form going forward in the league. I see a lot of potential in my team,” he said.
“The players have responded to pressure situations quite well and they have not lost their focus. I believe that if we can continue our game like this, we can go all the way and be crowned as the champions once again,” Ashwal said.
Meanwhile, Kolkata attacker Rahul, who has been exceptionally well this season, and is setting an example for the young generation spoke about the team composition, which is a mixture of youth and experienced players. He also shed light on the team’s performance.
“The team is well-balanced with youth and experienced players. We all support each other whenever things are not going in our favour. For Chennai Blitz, we have a strategy in place and we will try and implement it during the game and hopefully, the match will go in our favour. It is important not to lose focus now as the league is in its crucial phase,” Rahul said.
Pawan Kumar Patodia, Team Chairman and Principal owner of the Kolkata Thunderbolts, spoke on how the team has performed and played the final leg of the league in Kerala.
He said, “It is always a dream for any of the franchises to play their matches in Kerala as people over here are so fun-loving and are so passionate about volleyball. I have been looking forward to this opportunity and we, as a team will give our best to give the fans what they have come to witness.”
“We have two matches left in the group league. I want my team to play with efficiency, aggression and passion. As it appears from the table, we are most likely a candidate for the semi-finals, but we are not taking anything for granted. We will give the best entertainment in both of our matches and put a smile on people of Kerala when they go back home after watching Kolkata Thunderbolts play,” he added.
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