international volleyball

Takahashi leaves PH due to injury; Nishida, Ishikawa step up for last 2 VNL Manila games

JR Isaga

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Takahashi leaves PH due to injury; Nishida, Ishikawa step up for last 2 VNL Manila games

CROWD DRAWER. The Japanese team huddles during the Volleyball Nations League Manila leg.


Japan men's volleyball superstar Ran Takahashi cuts short his latest VNL visit in Manila at just one game played due to a nagging knee injury

MANILA, Philippines – Team Japan will be one member short in its last two VNL Manila games as superstar spiker Ran Takahashi has left the Philippines due to a nagging knee injury, Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said on Friday, June 21.

Takahashi’s 2024 VNL stint in Manila has therefore ended at just one game played: a 13-point effort in a five-set loss against Canada last Tuesday, June 18.

The burden of leading Japan in its last two games now lands on Takahashi’s partners-in-crime, fiery Yuji Nishida and captain Yuki Ishikawa, who led Friday’s three-set blowout of the Netherlands with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

For Nishida, who scored a whopping 10 points in the deciding third frame, said it’s now up to the rest of Japan to carry the scoring cudgels, first against France on Saturday, June 22, 7 pm, and then against the USA on Sunday, June 23, 7 pm.

“I hoped that he would come back but it is the situation and it’s more important to have that mentality. Maybe, we were a little bit nervous, I think the guys are keeping the motivation and energy. So, I hope that [Ran] will come back much better at his game and [rejoin] the team,” he said.

“It’s not so long before the Olympics, so, [he’s not in a hurry]. But we will keep improving step-by-step, for the important games.”

Ishikawa, who respectfully declined to further comment on his teammate’s condition, said his team simply has to move on and find the next best options against the French and Americans.

“I cannot speak for the team but we have to play without him. [Tatsunori] Otsuka was playing well, so we are so happy, and when someone [has an] injury, we have to play always. So we [act like] a single body,” he said.

Carrying a 7-3 VNL 2024 record and already assured of a Paris Olympics spot, Japan likely erred on the side of caution regarding Takahashi, who has had a long history of injuries in recent years.

Nishida, Ishikawa, and the rest of the star-studded Japanese, however, have more than enough firepower to take care of business, as they showed to full effect Friday night against the Dutch. –

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