Marck Espejo and FC Tokyo tried to mount a comeback but it was not enough, falling to JT Thunders, 25-27, 15-25, 28-26, 25-20, Friday evening in the 2021-22 Japan V.League Division 1 men’s tournament at the Sumida City Gymnasium.
The Ateneo product went just 11-of-30 in the attacking department but was efficient in his back row attempts, going 4-of-7. He also managed two blocks to finish with 13 points.
After an embarrassing 15-25 second set, FC Tokyo embarked on a comeback trail.
Trailing most of the third period, Espejo and his squad got their groove going. They eventually took the third set, 28-26, capped by Jonas Kvalen’s service ace.
However, Hiroshima did not lose its confidence, storming back in the fourth set to secure its third win in nine games.
Australian import Thomas Edgar beasted for JT Thunders with 31 points, all from attacks, making half of his spikes at 31-of-63.
Six-foot-seven Taishi Onodera made his presence felt all over the floor with 12 points built on seven attacks, three aces, and two blocks. Sakashita Junya added 12 points as well.
Kvalen led FC Tokyo with 19 points on 16 hits, two blocks, and an ace. Yuma Nagatomo chimed in 13 points of his own.
Daigo Yamada was a spark off the bench with four attacks, two blocks, and two aces.
FC Tokyo saw its mini two-game run snapped, falling to 2-7.
The two squads meet again tomorrow, 2:00 PM, at the same arena.