Bengaluru, 6th February: As things begin to heat up in season 2 of RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23, a monstrous clash awaits the fans in Bengaluru on Tuesday with the Kochi Blue Spikers getting to face off against the neighbouring rivals Chennai Blitz. Both the teams had a tough tournament last year as Kochi finished with a wooden spoon, while Chennai finished in second-last place. In the six games they played in the season, Kochi could only register one victory, but that sole win was against Chennai. On the other hand, Blitz won two of their six games last season, but now they want to get off to a winning start.

"In the second season, there have been several new players that have come up. It has become a huge platform for Indian players. All players are quite fit and all of us are using the opportunity that we have been given. Now, we just want to start us off with a win against Kochi," Chennai Blitz skipper Naveen Raja Jacob said.

This year, Kochi is being led by a highly experienced hitter from Peru, Eduardo Romay. While it may give the side an experienced mind at the helm, it can also be a tricky equation as Captain Romay is still trying to understand the new environment at the RuPay Prime Volleyball League.

"For me, personally, being a foreign player, I am finding everything new. I am getting used to being the new guy. It has been about trying to understand how everyone trains and how they react. Nobody reacts in the same way as the other person. This is a very short season - so we need to do that fast. It's part of the game, so it's okay," Romay said upon being asked about the same.

Meanwhile, Naveen believes having already seen three games this season before their first encounter will help his team in preparing for the areas where they need to work upon against Kochi.

"We have prepared well. We would have watched three games by tomorrow and we have already seen what areas we have to be mindful of. So, we are rectifying those areas and training along with that mindset," he said.

For Romay, the morning training session before their first game against Chennai Blitz is quite important as he believes it will allow the team to understand the court a little bit better and get an understanding of the area they will be playing in.

"We have been trying to set up the last touches for tomorrow's games. I think it's important the team feels confident about what we have been doing and what we have worked on. Tomorrow's morning session will be important because we will be in the court for the first time," he said.

On Sunday, when Calicut Heroes faced off against Mumbai Meteors, there was a thunderous showing from fans from Kerala who all gathered in large numbers to cheer for their team. Seeing the environment, Naveen believes Kochi will be enjoying a similar fanfare at the stadium but he wants his team to just focus on their own game.

"We saw how Kerala fans supported Calicut and we are sure that Kochi will receive similar support. But that will not affect us as we have to focus on our own game. We just want to play well," he said.

Whenever Kochi faces Chennai, a lot of chatter is about the neighbouring rivalry. But the Kochi skipper Eduardo does not wish to focus on that. Instead, he believes the young team in his arsenal and their energy will be key for him to get the first win.

"It's a very passionate team. It's a young team. We have a lot of energy so it will be helpful to win a short game of 15 points. I think the energetic theme is the key to this. So that brings a lot to us," he signed off.

Prime Volleyball League 2023 can be viewed on Sony Sports Ten 1 (English), Sony Sports Ten 3 (Hindi), Sony Sports Ten 4 (Tamil & Telugu) & Sony Sports Ten 2 (Malayalam) channels, while Sony LIV will be live streaming the same.

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