MANILA, Philippines – For the second straight game, Oita Miyoshi went the distance in the Japan V. League as they earned a five-set revenge win, 23-25, 26-28, 25-20, 25-16, 16-14, against the bottom-dwelling VC Nagano Tridents on Sunday, January 9.
Filipino star hitter Bryan Bagunas continued his strong start to 2022, as he finished with 22 points off 17 attacks, 4 blocks, and an ace less than 24 hours after falling to the once-winless Nagano squad.
Kenta Koga went wild in the massive three-set comeback from two frames down, and led all scorers with 27 markers as Oita rose to a 3-13 record, still at ninth place in the 10-team field.
Indonesian import Rivan Nurmulki led the Tridents anew in the heartbreaking loss with 22 points off 19 attacks, 2 blocks, and an ace as Nagano slid down to a 1-15 slate.
FC Tokyo, meanwhile, continued its slide to start the new year as the Panasonic Panthers completed the weekend sweep in four sets, 25-18, 22-25, 25-17, 25-17.
V. League All-Star Marck Espejo somewhat bounced back from a 6-point outing in their last loss, and this time finished with 13 markers off 11 attacks and 2 blocks.
Yuma Nagatomo paced the team’s third straight loss with 18 points, while Norwegian import Jonas Kvalen added 13 markers as Tokyo fell to a 4-12 record.
Kunihiro Shimizu powered the 10-6 Panthers in the win with a game-high 29 points on 23 attacks, 3 blocks, and 3 aces, offsetting Polish reinforcement Michal Kubiak’s quiet 10-point outing.
Unless derailed by local health protocols, Espejo, Bagunas, and fellow star import Jaja Santiago of the Saitama Ageo Medics are all set to return on Saturday, January 15. – Rappler.com