Thailand volleyball squad defeats Japan in women’s World Grand Prix

Kyodo

A Japan volleyball team consisting of mainly alternates suffered a defeat in five sets to Thailand in the women’s World Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Japanese side lost 15-25, 25-16, 25-22, 19-25, 16-18 in the Pool F match at Park Arena Komaki. The hosts slipped to a 3-3 record with 10 points ahead of their final three-match set of the first round starting next Friday in Osaka.

Yukiko Ebata had a game-high 22 points and Saori Sakoda chipped in with 15. Japan failed to put the game away when it had match point in the final set.

“We have to reflect on this loss, since we had a chance to finish it off in the fifth set,” said Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe, adding that he will decide on selections for the London Olympics after Japan’s three matches in Osaka.

Thailand improved to 5-1 with 14 points. Puerto Rico beat the Dominican Republic 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12 and is on five points. The Dominican Republic has four points.