By the time the Ageo Medics-Hitachi Rivale game was in the middle of the second set, the players of Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler and the Panasonic Panthers were still working hard in the first set.
The fierce competition between the two teams has further extended the opening … and beyond … and beyond. Someone had to win though as Panasonic took the first set with a staggering 42-40 score line. While the winning score is only eight points away from two complete sets, players from both teams have not been surprised by the long battle.
Defenders of the Japanese division V.League Division 1 maintained their moment by taking the second set, 25-19. However, Marck Espejo converted a back row attack to win the third set for Oita, 25-20.
Oita Miyoshi fought with the Panthers until a 5-1 draw from a 15-15 draw in the fourth set substantially sealed the match for the team in charge of the league. A Panasonic kill block ended the game at 25-21.
Despite the loss, Espejo paved the way with 23 attack points from 48 total attempts and a block. Yakan Guma contributed 22 counters, all with tips. On the other hand, three Panasonic panthers were in double digits: Issei Otake with 22, Tsubasa Hishahra with 21, and Michal Kubiak with 13.
The Panthers improve to 13-2 while Weisse Adler falls to 2-13. The Panasonic team will play the Toray Arrows tomorrow at 11 am, now Filipino, while Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler will face the Suntory Sunbirds also on January 13 at 2 pm, PH time.