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Espejo, Bagunas, Santiago teams advance in All-Japan tourneys


Despite the sudden announcement of their team’s shutting down of operations, Marck Espejo and FC Tokyo still did their job in the 2021-22 Emperor’s Cup.

FC Tokyo outlasted decorated college team University of East Asia, 27-25, 25-21, to advance to the second round of the All-Japan competition, Friday at Takasaki Arena in Gunma.

With the win, Espejo and Tokyo will face VC Nagano Tridents, who defeated Higashi Fukuoka High School, 25-17, 25-17, earlier in the day.

It was not just Espejo’s team who advanced in the national open tournament. Bryan Bagunas’ Oita Miyoshi also scored a sweep of high school team Kochi Shogyo High School, 25-6, 25-13.

The Weisse Adler will face the same team that eliminated them in the round of 16 last year in Osaka.

Last year, FC Tokyo were able to reach the semis. They then to the Panasonic Panthers in four sets.

Jaja Santiago’s Saitama also climbed up the Empress’ Cup ladder. They swept Artemis Hokkaido Club, 25-16, 25-15.

The Ageo Medics will next face powerhouse collegiate team University of Tsukuba, who defeated V2 team Route Inn Hotels Brilliant Aries, 25-21, 22,25, 25-21.

The second round of both tournaments takes place on Saturday.

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