Japan overcame a fierce challenge put up by Chinese Taipei, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22, Monday, Aug. 22, to remain unbeaten in the 2022 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
It was a second straight victory for the ferocious Japanese, who banked on Yuki Nishikawa, Mizuki Tanaka, Asuka Hamamatsu and Miyu Nakagawa in the one hour, 39-minute action.
Nishikawa fired all her 11 points on attacks while Tanaka, Hamamatsu and Nakagawa chipped in nine points apiece.
Japan, runner-up in the 2018 edition, dictated for most parts of the match with the Taiwanese rallying late in each set, only to fall short.
“It was kind of hard to get our pace, but towards the end, we got to play our volleyball, which is very nice,” Japanese team captain Mika Shibata said through an interpreter.
“We are getting better and better, little by little. We were playing our volleyball and the fact that we are winning is a good sign.”
Meanwhile, the Philippines aims to bounce back from a 25-17, 25-19, 31-29 loss to Vietnam when it squares off with powerhouse China Tuesday, Aug. 23.
Represented by Premier Volleyball League champions Creamline Cool Smashers, the Filipina spikers hope to turn things around with Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza and Michele Gumabao spearheading the charge against a taller and more experienced Chinese crew.
Coach Sherwin Meneses and Jia De Guzman, who missed the first game against Vietnam due to health reasons, are expected to return, giving the squad more strength especially with the absence of Alyssa Valdez and Risa Sato throughout the tournament.