VNL: Masterful Japan remains perfect with the victory over China

Japan celebrates a point against China in the Volleyball League of Nations (VNL) at the Araneta Coliseum. FIVB PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Japan demonstrates masterful attack and floor defense to fight slow start and thwart China, 19-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-12, for its eighth consecutive victory on the last day of volleyball nations League (VNL) Week 2 Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Team captain Sarina Koga fired 22 points based on 17 attacks, four blocks and an ace, including a huge defense effort with 15 breakouts and five assists to keep Japan undefeated for a solo lead and finish four games in Quezon City.

The NEC Red Rockets star at the V.League in Japan thanked Filipino fans who applauded them, chanting “Nippon! Nippon!” Nippon! ” during their match against the World. No.2 China, which also received a boost from its compatriots in the Big Dome.

“Fans of the Philippines have a lot of energy and strength, which is good for us. We have good motivation because they create a good atmosphere for us. We had a good experience, “Koga said through an interpreter.

In addition to the Japanese captain, Kotona Hayashi also made a multifaceted effort, scoring 18 assists for 19 points with 12 digs and eight assists. Arisa Inoue scored 15 points, including two aces.

Hinotori Nippon took his first loss in the Philippine leg after sweeping his first three games. But the Japanese have shown dominance in the last three sets, especially in the fourth frame with a 22-7 distribution, and have never looked back to pack victory.

“In the first set we could not do a good service against China. Our strengths are protection and service. “We have to make a good start every time we play against high teams,” Koga said. “They have very good outside strikers. We tried to make good serves against China. In the end, we got a good counterattack against China and we won.

It was Japan’s seventh straight win against China, which has won 22 of its 29 matches against each other.

The Japanese will head to Calgary, Canada for the 3rd week, where they will fight the Netherlands, Turkey and Belgium from June 28 to July 3.

The women’s finals will be held in Ankara from July 13th to 17th, with the top seven teams and host Turkey vying for the World Cup.

Li Yingying took China’s baton with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, while Gong Xiangyu added 12 markers.

The Chinese have lost their last two games in the Philippines, including a three-set loss to the United States on Saturday night.

China fell to 5-3 in the fourth set before heading to Sofia, Bulgaria for the final match before the finals.

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