Japan: JT Thunders Upset Panasonic, Move into 2nd in Final 6

  0 Jeremy Brahm | February 18th, 2018 | Japanese League, News

In the Japanese Men’s V.League Final 6 on Sunday, Panasonic Panthers faced the JT Thunders. A win for Panasonic would clinch first place in the Final 6 and a spot in the Final. A win by the Thunders would all but lock them into the Final 3 (Semifinals) and potentially the Final with some help next weekend. In the first set, the Panthers won 26-24, but they lost one their Three Musketeers, Kunihiro Shimizu to a right leg injury. He collapsed on the court after a spike just landing and DID NOT hit another players foot. It appeared to be his right knee and this could be the reason the Panthers do not win the title this year.

Courtesy Kunihiro Shimizu‘s twitter account @JIJIDJSARINA

In the second and third sets, the Thunders took advantage with Shimizu out of the game and lept to a 2-1 sets lead. In the fourth set, the Panthers fought back to tie at 17 after being down 16-13. However the Thunders took a 3-point lead at 23-20 after a block, which sealed the match. The Thunders with the win jump back into third place. Thomas Edgar was dominant for the Thunders with 35 points on 28 kills, 5 blocks and 2 aces. His teammate Shohei Yamamoto also had 15 (13k, 2b) in the win. JT’s blocking won match as they had 10 more blocks (14-4) than the Panthers. With Shimizu’s injury, Panasonic went towards a balanced attack, with Takahiko Imamura, Michal Kubiak, Tatsuya Fukuzawa and Akihiro Yamauchi all between 10-12 kills in the match in the loss. A win against Toyota Gosei on February 24th will put Panasonic into the Final.

In the other match, Toyota Gosei met the Suntory Sunbirds. A win by Toyota would nearly clinch a berth in the Final 3, but Panasonic would take the tiebreaker if they finished on points tied. Suntory was looking to stay alive with a win as a loss would eliminated them from a chance at the Final 3. The Trefuerza and Sunbirds split the first two sets, but Toyota dominated the third and fourth sets to win the match 3-1. Suntory is eliminated with the loss, while Toyota moves into second place at 11 points. JT can still overtake Toyota as they have one more match to play than Toyota does. The Trefuerza won this match through blocking (13-7) and at the service line with 7 more aces (9-2). Igor Omrcen for Toyota was the leading scorer with 26 points (21k, 1b) and four aces to lead all servers. Takuya Takamatsu also contributed 16 (12k, 3b, 1a) in the win for the Trefuerza. Yadrian Escobar 14 (10k, 2b, 2a) and Masashi Kuriyama 12 (all kills) were the only players for Suntory to reach double figures.

Final 3 Scenarios

Panasonic Panthers

  • Berth in the Final
  • Berth in Final 3 (Semifinal)
    • Two JT Thunders Wins in <5 sets AND Panasonic Loss vs. Toyota Gosei in <5 sets OR
    • One JT Thunders Win in 5 sets AND One JT Thunders Win in <5 sets AND Panasonic Loss vs. Toyota Gosei in <5 sets

Toyota Gosei Trefuerza

  • Cannot reach Final as Panasonic has regular season record finish tiebreaker if tied on points
  • Berth in Final 3 (Semifinal)
    • Win vs. Panasonic (Toyota has regular season record finish tiebreaker if tied on points with JT or Toray) OR
    • Toray loss vs. JT OR
    • Loss in 5 sets vs. Panasonic AND Toray wins vs. JT in 5 sets

JT Thunders

  • Berth in Final 3 (Semifinal)
    • Win vs. Toray

Toray cannot clinch on berth on February 24th.

Results for February 18, 2018

Schedule for February 24, 2018


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