Pro Volleyball league has added six more overseas players for the inaugural edition. Even as the player draft for Season One was completed, each of the six players have got one player through the second draft. This will enable the franchisees to complete their squad of 12 with two foreigners.
As the Inaugural edition of the Pro Volleyball League draws closer, the league added six more International players for the first season. With this, each team filled their quota of 2 foreign players in the squad of 12 and are all set for the first edition of the league starting 2nd February.
In the second draft of the Pro Volleyball League, Russia’s Victor Sysoev was picked by Ahmedabad Defenders, Slovakian Adrej Patuc by Kochi Blue Spikers, Canada’s Nicholas Del Bianco by U Mumba Volley, Latvian Ruskans Sorokins by Chennai Spartans, Canada’s Alex Bader by Black Hawks Hyderabad and Republic of Congo’s Illouni Ngampourou by Calicut Heroes, the organisers have stated in a Press release.
The first draft of the International players took place during the players auction in New Delhi last month. Carson Clarke was picked by Black Hawks Hyderabad, Paul Lotman by Calicut Heroes, Rudy Verheoff by Chennai Spartans, Tomislav Coskovic by U-Mumba Volley, David Lee by Kochi Blue Spikers and Novica Bjielica by Ahmedabad Defenders.
Talking about the new set of international players joining the league, Tuhin Mishra, MD and Co-founder of Baseline Ventures, said, “We have added some fantastic international players to the league. These names have years of playing experience across the globe and carry tremendous repute with their respective teams. With the second set of International player draft completed, all the teams have full-fledged and balanced squads with a specialist player in every position.”
In a career spanning 14 years across Romania, Switzerland and Russia, Sysoev started with Lokomotiv Novosibirsk. The 34-year old Patuc, who will represent Kochi franchise, has 15 years of experience that started at Slovakian club VKP Bratislava in 2003. Canada’s Del Bianco started playing club volleyball with the Trinity Western Spartans. The 26-year old was also a member of the National team from 2014-2017 and went onto play in countries like Switzerland, France and Germany.
Sorokins is one of the most experienced pro joining the league with Chennai Spartans. The 36-year old Latvian has over 21 years of playing experience in both court and beach volleyball and also has represented Latvia in the 2012 London Olympics and has played in countries like Kazakhstan, Slovakia, France and Belgium among others.
Bader, another Canadian international in the league will play for Black Hawks Hyderabad, started his volleyball career in 2014 with his home club Calgary. Ngampourou from the Republic Of Congo who will play for the Calicut heroes, will be the first African player to be a part of the Pro Volleyball League. Ngampourou, who plays as a middle blocker, is known for his defensive prowess.
The inaugural edition of the league will see six franchises vying for the title. Ahmedabad Defenders is owned by Bonhomie Sports Event Mgmt. Ltd., Kerala’s Calicut Heroes is owned by Beacon Sports while the Chennai Spartans is owned by Chennai Spartans Pvt. Ltd. U Mumba Volley is owned by U Sports, who also own a team in the Kabaddi league while Black Hawks Hyderabad is owned by Agile Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. Thomas Muthoot owns the Kochi franchise called the Kochi Blue Spikers.
Pro Volleyball League’s first season will be held in two volleyball hotbeds of India i.e. Kochi (Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium) and Chennai (Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium). Each of the six teams will have 12 players including two foreign players and two Indian U-21 players. The league will be played over a total of 18 matches with each team playing each other once in a round-robin format and the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals. All the matches will be broadcasted live on Sony Six and Sony Ten 3 and will be streamed live on Sony LIV.