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2022 AVC Cup for Women

AVC Cup: Japan weathers Chang Li-wen’s explosion, gets win no. 2


Japan once more needed to pull through after a huge fight back from Chinese-Taipei to win in three tight sets, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22, taking its second win in Pool B of the 2022 PNVF AVC Cup for Women, Monday morning at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The win puts the 2018 runners-up in solo lead with a 2-0 win-loss record, while Chinese Taipei enters the standings at 0-1.

Yuki Nishikawa paced the squad for the second consecutive points with 11, all coming from attacks, while the other outside hitter Mizuki Tanaka poured five of her nine spikes to counter that Chinese Taipei run.

Japan took control of the early parts of the first two sets leaning on their defense before finishing most of the rallies in transition. Chinese Taipei, though, mounted comebacks late in both of the first two frames, but Japan went on to take both sets on its own terms.

This momentum from the Chinese Taipei brought forth results in the third set and grabbed the early 6-1 advantage.

Things turned around, though, when Japan’s challenge for a net fault at 12-9 with Chinese Taipei leading was successful and the Hinotori Nippon went on to snag the advantage, which grew to 20-14.

Chinese Taipei, led by its captain Chang Li-wen, went for a last-ditch effort and forced Japanese head coach Akira Koshita to call for time after cutting the deficit to two, 21-23. Japan eventually wrapped it up with an exchange of points, ending with a Tanaka kill.

“It was kind of hard to get our pace, but towards the end, we got to play our volleyball, which is very nice,” Japanese setter Mika Shibata said through an interpreter. “We are getting better and better, little by little. We were playing our volleyball and the fact that we are winning is a good thing.”

Middle blocker Asuka Hamamatsu also pinched in nine spikes, while patrolling the net well with 12 block touches.

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Chang took charge of Chinese Taipei with 16 points on 15 attacks and one block, while Lin Shu-ho added 10 markers on eight spikes, one block, and one service ace.

Japan will try to sweep its pool when it takes on Australia on Thursday at 1 p.m., while Chinese Taipei will face the same team first on Tuesday at 1 p.m. as well.

Catch the best volleyball players in the continent on SMART GigaPlay. Download it here.

#AVConGigaplay

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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