NEC halted Saitama’s four-game win streak, earning a 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22 victory in the 2021-22 V.League Division 1 women’s tournament, Wednesday at the Saitama Prefectural Budokan.
Filipina import Jaja Santiago was held down to just six points in the losing cause, tallying three attacks and three blocks.
However, she went 3-of-12 in her spikes, a low 25 percent for the league’s fourth-most efficient attacker.
Sarina Koga and Haruyo Shimamura collected 17 points apiece for the Red Rockets.
Haruna Soga added 11 points in the win while Moeka Kinoe and Sarah Parson had seven points each.
Aside from their four-game run snapped, the Ageo Medics slipped to 15-9, still at fifth place but a little farther to third seed NEC, which stands at 18-7.
Saitama is now 2.5 games behind the third seed with nine games left in its schedule, five against squads with winning records.
Lorenne Teixeira led the Ageo Medics with 23 points, while Mami Uchiseto chalked up 16 points of her own.
Momoko Niida also made double digits with 12 points on 10 attacks, a block, and a service ace.
Saitama will try to bounce back against fourth-ranked Hisamitsu on Saturday at 2:30 pm (Manila time) at the Kose Sports Park Gymnasium.