• Kyodo


Japan was handed its third straight defeat to the United States on Thursday as it went down 3-1 in the final game of a friendly series at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Brazilian-born player Marcos Sugiyama and Hiroyuki Kai produced solid displays to help Japan take the first set 25-20 but the hosts were unable to keep the momentum going and lost the next three sets 25-22, 25-19, 28-26 to finish the four-game tournament with a 1-3 record.

The tournament was serving as buildup for Japan for the final Athens Olympic qualifying tournament in Tokyo next month. The U.S. has already booked its ticket to Greece.

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