Japan breaks Chinese wall, bags AVC Asian Club title

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 11, 2016 07:43 PM
Japan breaks Chinese wall, bags AVC Asian Club title
Japan stunned China in straight sets to occupy the throne a day after dethroning Bangkok Glass of Thailand in straight sets.
BINAN CITY, LAGUNA --- Japan scaled the Great Wall of China with relative ease.

The NEC Red Rockets claimed the crown with a masterful 25-23, 25-19, 25-21 domination of Ba’yi Shenzheng Sunday in the championship match of the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship at the Alonte Sports Arena here.

Showing discipline and well-organized floor defense paired with tactical precision to slice through the defense of the towering Chinese, Japan stunned China in straight sets to occupy the throne a day after dethroning Bangkok Glass of Thailand in straight sets.

The Red Rockets channeled their inner samurai spirit, chopping down their 4-11 deficit in the third set after the Chinese’s streaking assault to tie the match at 14.

The Japanese took the lead, 18-17, before China tied it again at 20. Japan unleashed a closing 5-1 burst capped by Mizuki Yanagita’s kill to seal the title.

Tournament MVP Sarina Koga led Japan’s unbeaten campaign in the weeklong continental club tournament with 16 points from 14 attacks while Yanagita scored 15. Team captain Akari Oumi posted 14 for Japan.

China dropped a match for the first time after streaking to the Finals.       

Junjing Yang scored 15 while Liu Yanhan finished with 14 for China.

Meanwhile, crowd-favorite Bangkok Glass of Thailand behind the cheers of the Pinoy fans that trooped the venue clawed its way back from a 0-2 match deficit to a thrilling, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-6, win over Altay VC of Kazakhstan to bag a consolation third place after losing the crown in the semifinals.     

“Today we are very happy to win this game. They are very strong and very tall but we helped each other,” said team captain Thinkaow Pleumjit, who finished with 17 points. “We tried (to comeback) and finally got the win.”  

Down two sets, Thailand fought back from early deficit in the third set before controlling the next two. The Thais built an 11-5 advantage in the deciding set and never looked back.

Apinyapong Wilavan top scored for Bangkok Glass with 19 points with all but one coming off kills, Vietnamese import Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hua had 18 while American reinforcement Ashley Frazier finished with 14.       

“The fans in the Philippines helped us get our confidence back and fight back. We thank them for supporting us,” said Wilavan.

Olga Biryukova blasted 26 points, Kristina Anikonova had 12 while Dora Spelman and Sana Anarkulova registered 11 markers each for fourth placer Altay VC.

In the battle for fifth place, Sarmayeh Bank-Iran defeated Thongtin Lien Viet Post Bank of Vietnam, 25-23, 25-17, 25-23.

 

 

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