Nishida shines as Japan outlasts Italy

Published June 24, 2022, 9:29 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Japan rode on Yuji Nishida’s electrifying performance as it outlasted Italy, 25-20, 21-25, 24-26, 25-19, 15-13, Friday for its fifth win in six outings in the Volleyball Nations League at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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The high-leaping, power-spiking Nishida exploded with a match-best 28 points including key kills in the deciding fifth set to help the Japanese secure the win that kept them in striking distance with the big guns.

Yuki Ishikawa drilled in 20 hits while Akihiro Yamauchi contributed 15 as the Ryujji Nippon, the crowd darling of all eight teams who are here in the Week 2 Philippine sojourn, continued to enhance their title chances.

Daniel Lavia paced the Italians with 22 points while Alessandro Michieletto and Yuri Romano powered in 16 apiece.

But Nishida was just too much, too talented for Italy and absorbed its second defeat against four wins.

Japan will have a crack at the lead as it clashes with Olympic gold medalist France in the final day of VNL Week 2 Saturday.