Bengaluru Torpedoes beat Kolkata Thunderbolts in the first semi-final.
Kochi, March 3rd, 2023: Bengaluru Torpedoes picked up a thrilling 15-10, 10-15, 15-13, 10-15 win over the defending champions Kolkata Thunderbolts in the first semi-final of the second season of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 at the Regional Sports Centre, in Kochi on Friday. With the win, the Torpedoes book a berth in the final. Pankaj Sharma was named the player of the match.
Bengaluru went big right from the word go but handed over a couple of early freebies to the defending champions. Ibin Jose started making an impact for the Torpedoes, while skipper Ashwal Rai continued his sensational form for the Thunderbolts.
The neck-and-neck battle saw the Torpedoes move an inch ahead with Tsvetelin Tsvetanov and skipper Pankaj Sharma’s attacks. Janshad kept setting up Ashwal to keep the Thunderbolts closer to the opposition. But Pankaj’s dominant show from the service line troubled Kolkata’s defence and Bengaluru took control.
Rahul put a block on Pankaj and made a thunderous super serve to make his presence felt. His super show gave confidence to Vinit Kumar and Ashwal to make strong spikes and Kolkata found an opening. Service errors from Bengaluru did not help their cause and the Thunderbolts levelled the playing field.
Rahul kept finding ways to tackle Bengaluru’s three-man block line. But a crucial review call from head coach David Lee gave the Torpedoes an important point upon which Bengaluru built their momentum to once again regain control.
Torpedoes defence was on point when Mujeeb, Vyshak, and Abalooch put on a three-man block on Rahul’s spike. Midhun’s clever retrieval of the ball at a crucial moment further edged the Torpedoes ahead as the Thunderbolts were blown away by Bengaluru defence. Pankaj’s power-packed performance ended Kolkata’s resistance and Torpedoes booked themselves a ticket to the final.
Ahmedabad Defenders will be up against Calicut Heroes in the second semi-final at the Regional Sports Centre (Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium) of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League at 1900 hrs IST on Saturday, March 4th, 2023.
The RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 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 and will be streamed on Volleyball World TV outside the Indian subcontinent, starting February 4, Saturday.