Japan rebounded from a three-set defeat from France as it repulsed Slovenia, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18, 25-19, Sunday in Week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League Men’s Leg at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
It was the Japanese’s sixth win in eight matches, closing out this week’s campaign on a bright note with 18 points in third place.
Team captain Yuki Ishikawa spearheaded Japan’s assault with 21 points off 17 kills, one block and three aces, while Tatsunori Otsuka also added 13 points, all coming from attacks.
The Japanese quickly regained their composure from a second-set stumble, mounting ferocious kills and combination plays to challenge Slovenia’s net defense.
They directed the game tempo in the fourth frame, slowly building their lead until a quick kill from star player Yuji Nishida sealed the game in Japan’s favor.
Nishida also finished with 12 points off 10 attacks while Kentaro Takahashi chipped in 11 points.
Slovenia fell to its fifth loss against three victories to finish the week at ninth with nine points.
Rok Mozic’s 20-point production – 18 coming from the attack line – was still not enough to douse the fire of Japan.
Toncek Stern and Tine Urnaut also finished with 16 and 11 points for Slovenia.