Japan Men’s League: Trefuerza still top, Sakai get first win

  0 Jeremy Brahm | November 12th, 2017 | Japanese League, Pro Indoor

Going into Matchday 6, Toyota Gosei Trefuerza were looking to maintain their dominance in the Premier League with their match against FC Tokyo who were looking for their first win of the season. The Gasmen, FC Tokyo were created by Tokyo Gas (hence Gasmen), jumped into the lead by winning the first set 25-23. Toyota responded quickly to take the second set, but FC Tokyo won the third set in extra points 27-25. The Trefuerza would be forced to win their second match in a row by going five sets, which is exactly what they did. Trefuerza got a lead in the fourth and continue to expand it, winning 25-16. In the fifth set, Toyota again got a lead and kept it to win the match 3-2. Croatian scoring machine Igor Omrcen had 48 points (38k, 1b) for Trefuerza, but 9 of those points were service aces! Omrcen’s 48 points is his second highest scoring match in Japan, previously hitting 49 points in January 2017, and the highest in the world in the 2017-2018 season. FC Tokyo’s Bosnian Milan Pepic had 23 points (19k, 2b, 2a), while his teammate Takashi Takenami had 3 aces as part of the 8 points (3k, 2b). Toyota are still perfect on the season at 6-0.

The Sakai Blazers also were looking for their first win of the season and faced their Osaka neighbors Suntory Sunbirds. The Sunbirds are still trying to find their way after Masahiro Yanagida left for Germany. Suntory took the first set 25-23, but Sakai responded to take a 2-1 sets lead after going extra points in set 3. Suntory dominated in the fourth set 25-14 to force a fifth set. Sakai took a lead in the fifth and kept it to win the match 3-2. Brazilian Wallace Martins for Sakai and Cuban Yadrian Escobar  for Suntory were the leading scorers with 30 points (23k, 4b, 3a) and 29 points (24k, 2b, 3a) respectively. The win moved Sakai into 7th place.

JT Thunders and JTEKT Stings met in a battle of 3-win teams. The Thunders swept the match easily 3-0 and dominated at the net with 13 blocks to 5 for JTEKT. Australian Thomas Edgar was the leading scorer in the match with 25 points (22k, 3b) for JT Thunders. His Thunders teammates Shogo Toimoto and Akihiro Fukatsu each had 3 blocks in the match. Bulgarian Matey Kaziyski had 13 points (10k, 1b, 2a) and Akitomo Kanamaru had 3 blocks (5 pts) for JTEKT. With the win JT Thunders moved into third place.

Panasonic Panthers were looking to bounce back from their loss to Trefuerza last weekend again the Toray Arrows, last year’s champion. Toray took the first set in extra points 26-24. Panasonic responded in the second to tie the match at 1 set each. In the third and fourth sets, Panasonic dominated to win the match 3-1. Toray’s Gavin Schmitt led all scorers with 30 points (29k, 1b), his 82nd time over 30 points in his club career, leading all players in the world. On the Panasonic side of the net, Kunihiro Shimizu 18 (17k, 1a), Michal Kubiak 18 (17k, 1a) and Tatsuya Fukuzawa 19 (18k, 1b) kept Panasonic in the match with their spiking efficiency (52 kills, 4 errors, 83 swings, .592 hitting). Panasonic middle blocker Kenji Shirasawa had 12 points, but 3 blocks and 3 aces for a well-rounded match.

Results for Matchday 6, November 11, 2017
Toyota Gosei Trefuerza 3-2 FC Tokyo (23-25, 25-16, 25-27, 25-16, 15-11)
Sakai Blazers 3-2 Suntory Sunbirds (23-25, 25-20, 28-26, 14-25, 15-12)
JT Thunders 3-0 JTEKT Stings (25-18, 25-18, 25-22)
Panasonic Panthers 3-1 Toray Arrows (24-26, 25-22, 25-16, 25-18)







Schedule for Matchday 7, November 12, 2017
Toray Arrows vs. JT Thunders
JTEKT Stings vs. Panasonic Panthers
Toyota Gosei Trefuerza vs. Suntory Sunbirds
Sakai Blazers vs. FC Tokyo

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