University of Tsukuba may have wrapped up Team Shine in a lopsided manner with almost double-digit leads in all sets on Thursday, but team captain Miko Yokota admitted that it wasn’t as plain sailing as it seemed.
The PSL selection team refused to simply let the floodgates open with their hard-nosed defensive coverage. This forced the Japanese to figure in a string of long, grueling rallies throughout the match.
Still, the Filipinas gave in to the overwhelming pace of the reigning titleholder of the All Japan Intercollegiate Volleyball Championship.
Nonetheless, as Yokota put it, “We had a tough game.
“But we all cooperated together and achieved our goal. And we’ll be looking forward to our [game against the Philippine national team].”
Having played in a pair of competitive matches against some of the finest players in the country such as Alohi Robins-Hardy, Grethcel Soltones and MJ Phillips for the past couple of days, there is no question that Tsukuba has gotten a better grasp of the level of play in the Philippines.
But Japanese mentor Yasumi Nakanishi bared that their approach to the match against the Nationals will remain the same as their other games.
Still, Nakanishi seeks to put a premium on his unit’s defensive schemes since, as he stressed, every team has their own variation on offense.
“Against any team, we treat them the same approach,” Nakanishi shared.
“Adjust the defense system, because with a different team is a different attack.”
The virtual championship match between the Philippine contingent and the Japanese varsity team unfolds on Friday night at the FilOil Flying V Centre, as the two unbeaten teams fight for supremacy in the inaugural PSL Super Cup.