JAPAN RECLAIM AVC EASTERN ZONE WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE IN ZHANGJIAGANG
Zhangjiagang, China, July 15, 2018 – Japan, stunned by Chinese Taipei at the previous final showdown two years ago, proved their superiority over China, producing a convincing 25-14, 25-20, 25-15 victory over the host side to reclaim their title in the 2018 AVC Eastern Zone Women’s Volleyball Championship Presented by Huachang on Sunday night at Zhangjiagang Sports Center.
Reigning champions Chinese Taipei finished a disappointing 6th place as they were defeated by Hong Kong 2-3 (21-25 25-14 18-25 25-20 11-15) in the 5th-6th playoff. DPR Korea had to be content with well-earned bronze medal after sweeping their neighbour Korea in the third-place clash.
In the final showdown, hosts China experienced scoring difficulties from the very beginning. Taking an initial 3-0 lead, Japan soon widened the gap to 8-3, pushing China to call their timeout. Using the height advantage, China gradually pulled their game together to reduce the margin 10-12. But after the timeout by Japan, China again failed miserably as they became more prone with unforced errors. Japan stormed on to win the comfortable set 25-14.
With the noisily-cheering home spectators, China regain their confidence and reduced their mistakes. Despite a poor start in the second set to trail 0-2, China could always keep even with the opponents until a 12-12 tie. However, their inconsistency destroyed themselves while Japan maintained their poise and stayed in front with a 4-point clear at 19-15. China called a timeout but their attempts were in vain. Following a serve error, the Chinese lost the set 20-25.
Facing the well-organised defense of Japan, the Chinese found it very difficult to put their team back on track. Confidence also shrank as they were always falling behind in the third set. Japan proved to be too strong as they captured the set 25-15, match and the championship.
Mr. Ken Nemoto, head coach of Japan, was awarded the Best Coach, and Chinami Furuya from Japan won the Most Valuable Player.
In the bronze medal contest earlier, DPR Korea fully showed their desire to win. They formed a barrier on top of the net, which successfully blocked the opponent’s attacks. Their fierce attacks tore the defense of Korea apart. Though Korea tried their best to counter-attack, they still could not reverse the situation. The final score was 3-0 (25-20 25-20 25-19) in favour of DPR Korea, which ended the tournament with the 3rd place. Korea returned with the 4th position.
Hong Kong sealed their stunning 3-2 ( 25-21, 14-25, 25-18, 20-25, 15-11) victory over Chinese Taipei. Captain Yeung SauMei of Hong Kong showed great composure in both offense and defence with 26 points in total, including 20 spikes, 5 blocks and 1 ace. Title-holders Chinese Taipei had to swallow the bitter pill following a disappointing 6th place in the championship.
In the 7th-8th playoff, Mongolia finally harvested their maiden victory in the tournament after beating Macao 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-19) to finish 7th place, with winless Macao in 8th position.
3. DPR Korea
5. Hong Kong
6. Chinese Taipei
Most Valuable Player: No. 6, Chinami Furuya of Japan
Best Coach: Mr. Ken Nemoto, head coach of Japan
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