PVL 2024: Torpedoes’ driving force, Ibin Jose, vows to go the distance in Prime Volleyball League

Ibin’s entry to volleyball might have been by chance but the 26-year-old has been a central piece in Bengaluru Torpedoes’ contention for an Eliminator spot in PVL season three.

Published : Mar 17, 2024 20:14 IST , CHENNAI - 3 MINS READ

Ibin Jose takes a shot during PVL 2024.
Ibin Jose takes a shot during PVL 2024. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ibin Jose takes a shot during PVL 2024. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ibin Jose has made it count when Bengaluru Torpedoes has needed him the most, often serving as the super sub in the Prime Volleyball League season three.

The Bengaluru-based team defeated Mumbai Meteors 3-0 on Saturday to keep its campaign alive. Torpedoes, placed third with four points in the Super 5s points table, now need Calicut Heroes to win its final match to ensure qualification to the eliminator.

READ | PVL 2024 - Providing the perfect platform for tomorrow’s triumph

It is déjà vu for Ibin and his team. In the previous edition, Torpedoes managed to enter the semifinals courtesy of Kochi Blue Spikers’ victory in the final group stage match. Earlier in the competition, Torpedoes’ comeback stunned the third-placed Heroes 3-2. Ibin was one of the top performers and scored 11 points in that game.

Terming it as one of the most thrilling matches he has ever encountered, Ibin said, “We took the first two sets, lost the next two sets, and finally got the final one. As they came back strong, and we withstood it, it was thrilling, more exciting for us.”

Defeating the PVL season one champion, Kolkata Thunderbolts, 3-1 in the semifinal last year, the Torpedoes made it clear that they were a force to reckon with. However, the side’s valiant effort in the final went in vain as it went down against Ahmedabad Defenders 2-3. Ibin was awarded the “Emerging Player of the Season” for the 78 points he scored in that season.

Ibin Jose (L) celebrates after winning a point.
Ibin Jose (L) celebrates after winning a point. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ibin Jose (L) celebrates after winning a point. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Asked if the team planned to reverse the plot this time, Ibin said, “Why not? We are focusing on being the champions and using the opportunity the league presents us.”

The Torpedoes managed to secure their core team for this edition with three or four exceptions, and learning from last year’s final is the key to winning in this edition. “It (the result) depends on the day and performance of the player. Nothing else matters. We must give our best and avoid unforced errors,” said the 26-year-old Ibin.

The Wayanad lad’s volleyball journey began 10 years ago after his sister’s coach discovered his talent. “My sister was playing in the school volleyball team, and I was hanging out with them. The coach spotted me and asked me to join the boys team. Later, he asked me to join the summer coaching camp and the academy of a former SAI volleyball coach to improve my skills. Then I went to Kerala State Sports Council Volleyball Academy.”

Ibin’s PVL entry was due to his effort and Torpedoes assistant coach Lijo E. John’s guidance. Having trained under Lijo at the university level, Ibin took his chance in the league’s first edition but did not make the cut. His fate turned when the Calicut team he represented won the all-India inter-university title after 32 years. This led him being picked by the Torpedoes in the second edition.

An X-factor for Ibin and his team is the presence of a foreign head coach, David Lee, an Olympic gold medallist, who played PVL’s first season before venturing into coaching. “If you talk about David Lee, he’s an outstanding player with amazing experience. We can watch and learn the international training standards, strategies, importance of skill, how to behave on and off the court and how to be a team.” 

Ibin, who has already experienced being the second-best team, is keen on turning the tide and help his team clinch its maiden league title. 

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