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.