The inaugural edition of the RuPay Pro Volleyball League 2019 will be moving into the business end of the tournament as the Calicut Heroes will face off against U Mumba Volley in the first semifinal of the competition at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai.
Unbeaten in the path to the semifinals, the Calicut Heroes will be brimming with confidence in their quest to book a spot in the grand finale while U Mumba Volley's resurgence to pick up two wins in their last two encounters could prove to be a confidence-booster for the Deepesh Kumar Sinha-led side.
The Calicut Heroes started their campaign in style with a resounding 4-1 win over the Chennai Spartans and have not looked back ever since. They won all of their league stage matches to top the table and set up a scramble among teams to avoid finishing 4th in the table.
Ajith Lal C has been the find of the season and the young spiker's powerful shots have fetched him 74 points from 5 matches but the real success story is that of the Heroes' skipper Jerome Vinith, who has notched up 69 points and his all-round prowess has undoubtedly rubbed off on the entire team.
While Vinith's form will be crucial to plot the downfall of U Mumba Volley, on the other side will be the dominating presence of Deepesh Kumar Sinha, who appears to have awoken from a deep slumber and has picked up 50 points from 5 matches, with 26 of those points coming from the last two games.
Alongside Deepesh Sinha, U Mumba Volley's vice-captain Vinit Kumar has also looked solid, with his power-packed smashes fetching him 44 points from 4 matches and with the two teams in solid form, the matchup could prove to be a mouth-watering encounter.
Ahead of this clash, the two teams met earlier in a match that the Calicut Heroes claimed bragging rights with a 3-2 victory. With a lot more at stake, the overall team form is certain to have a major say on the outcome of the game.
Predicted Starting Six
Calicut Heroes: Jerome Vinith (C), Paul Lotman, Ajith Lal C, Karthik A, Iluoni Ngampourou, Vipul Kumar.
U Mumba Volley: Deepesh Kumar Sinha (C), Vinit Kumar, Pankaj Sharma, Prince, Saqlain Tariq, Nicholas Del Bianco.
Telecast details, when and where to watch
Date: 19th February 2019, Tuesday
Start time: 6.50 PM IST
Live Telecast: Sony Six, Sony Ten 3
Live Streaming: Sony LIV (App and Website)