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Japan defends Asian men’s volleyball title

Kyodo

Defending champion Japan defeated Kazakhstan 3-1 in a thrilling four-set final to secure its ninth Asian men’s volleyball championship title on Tuesday.

Yuki Ishikawa scored a match-high 21 points and was named MVP of the July 24-Aug. 1 tournament in Surabaya, Indonesia, after Japan won 25-13, 25-20, 25-27, 25-23 in its 11th appearance in the event sanctioned by the Asian Volleyball Confederation.

“It’s always a great feeling to win a tournament,” said Japan manager Yuichi Nakagaichi.

“We were playing right after the world championships qualifiers (held July 12-16 in Australia) and weren’t in good condition, but all credit goes to the players.”

Japan earned its first men’s volleyball world championship berth in two years when the team wrapped up Pool B play with the best 4-0 record last month.

The world championships will be co-hosted by Bulgaria and Italy in September 2018.