international volleyball

Espejo plays full game in loss as Bagunas, Oita get swept by vengeful Nagoya

JR Isaga
Espejo plays full game in loss as Bagunas, Oita get swept by vengeful Nagoya

STILL FIGHTING. Marck Espejo celebrates a point with his FC Tokyo teammates.

LIONEL PIGUET/RAPPLER

Marck Espejo plays his first full game in two weeks, just before his FC Tokyo’s showdown with fellow Filipino star spiker Bryan Bagunas and Oita Miyoshi next weekend

MANILA, Philippines – FC Tokyo failed to stop their free fall down the Japan V. League as the JTEKT Stings completed a weekend sweep in another straight-sets shutout, 25-22, 25-10, 26-24, on Sunday, January 30.

On a positive note, Filipino star spiker Marck Espejo played his first full game in two weeks, and finished with 8 points off 7 attacks and a block, while fellow import Jonas Kvalen led the losing effort with 11 markers.

Kento Miyaura led all scorers in the easy win with 17 points off 11 attacks, 5 aces, and a block, as the Stings rose to a 13-9 record in fifth place. Meanwhile, Tokyo slid down to a 6-16 slate off its fourth straight loss, still in the eighth spot of the 10-team field.

Tokyo, now fielding a fully healthy Espejo, hopes to stop the skid next weekend as they take on Oita Miyoshi and Espejo’s fellow Philippine national team star, Bryan Bagunas.

Oita will also need that win over Tokyo next weekend as they got dominated by a vengeful Wolfdogs Nagoya in a three-set sweep, 25-20, 25-18, 25-20.

After scoring 23 points in a stunning five-set comeback the previous day, Bagunas still went down swinging in this game, and led the loss with 13 points off 12 attacks and 2 blocks.

Meanwhile, Polish import Bartosz Kurek followed up his losing 40-point effort on Saturday by squeezing in 24 markers in just three frames for the 11-7 Wolfdogs, currently sitting at sixth place.

With a win to kick off next weekend’s back-to-back slate, Bagunas and Oita can improve their ninth-place, 5-17 standing to tie Espejo and Tokyo at eighth.

As for Jaja Santiago and the Saitama Ageo Medics, they can return next weekend against the Toray Arrows if their health protocol situation clears up. – Rappler.com

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