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Tiebreaker Times

2022 VNL Season

VNL: Yuki Ishikawa makes sure Japan ends Manila leg on high note

Japan closed out Week 2 of the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League with a bounce-back win, taking care of Slovenia with a 25-21, 22-25, 25-18, 25-19, conquest on Sunday afternoon at the SMART Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Ryujin Nippon kept in step with the win as they went up to a 6-2 win-loss record, just a game behind leader France, which is at 7-1.

The 2021 Asian runners-up’s transition offense gave them a bit of separation, 16-13, in the middle of the fourth set. That advantage turned out to be enough as errors piled up for Slovenia and Japan eventually closed out the set and the match.

Captain Yuki Ishikawa paced Japan with 21 points on 17 attacks, three aces, and one block.

“We won the match, 3-1, but in the second set we were leading, but we lost the set. One thing is that we need to move on from that second set, and we won the three points,” the 26-year-old outside hitter said.

Japan emerged out of tight few points in the opening set with 19-16 after Ishikawa paced the charge on offense and capitalized on Slovenia’s floor coverage. Eight errors. mostly on service, did Japan some damage, but the red shirts still pocketed the set advantage off an Akihiro Yamauchi quick kill.

In the second set, the Ryuin Nippon cleaned up their service game to take a huge 12-5 margin heading into the technical timeout, even scoring from the line with Ishikawa and Yuji Nishida.

Slovenia cut the deficit to four, 11-15, with three straight points on the Tonček Šter serve, forcing Japan’s head coach Philippe Blain to call for time. The Europeans then tightened their defense and carved a 5-0 run to snag the set with back-to-back points from Rok Možič, 25-22, for the equalizer.

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Another solid start at 12-6 in the third set for Japan was met with some resistance from the European side. Two straight errors from the latter, though, set Japan to slowly cruise in taking back the set advantage.

Tatsunori Otsuka, playing this time in his natural position on the left side, added 13 points, all coming from attacks, while Nishida provided the points when needed with 12 points on 10 attacks and two service aces.

Japan will fly back home to Osaka for the final leg of the pool round and Ishikawa believes they have a lot to work on. “This week, we ended with three wins, and we have more things to improve for next week,” he said.

The Ryujin Nippon will try to solidify their ranking when they face struggling Australia (1-6) on July 6 at 7:10 p.m.

Outside hitter Možič carried the 2021 EuroVolley silver medalist with 20 markers on 18 spikes and two blocks. Meanwhile, Štern took care of the other side with 16 points on 14 attacks, a block, and an ace.

Slovenia, which slipped to 3-5, will fly to Gdansk, Poland to face their last week of assignments, starting with Serbia (3-4) also on July 6 at 8 p.m.

All VNL Manila games stream live on GigaPlay. Download it now on Android or IOS.

2022-VNL-Manila-Gigaplay VNL: Yuki Ishikawa makes sure Japan ends Manila leg on high note 2022 VNL Season News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

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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