2017 WORLD GRAND CHAMPIONS CUP
- Women – September 5-9
- Men – September 12-17
- Nagoya and Osaka, Japan
- Women – Schedule/Results
- Men – Schedule
- Power Rankings
Italy is looking to extend their hot win streak after they downed the defending champions, Brazil, in a five-set upset against the hosts Japan. This will be the fourth time that the two teams will meet at the World Grand Champions Cup with Italy winning all previous meetups.
Though Italy will have some momentum coming into their match against Japan, they have played in two five-set matches so far, with fatigue a potential factor. This could be downplayed though, as all teams had one day off to travel to their new playing location in Osaka. Leading the way for the Italians is Filippo Lanza who has put down 44 points to lead all players in scoring. Luca Vettori and Oleg Antonov have also contributed big numbers for Italy, putting down 35 and 32 points, respectively.
Japan has struggled to find a consistent output for the team, with their highest scorer being Masahiro Yanagida with 18 points followed by Yuki Ishikawa and Takashi Dekita with 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Unfortunately for the Japanese squad, Ishikawa will be unable to help his team in the match against Italy, as he will sit out with an injury to his knee and lower back. The injury came in the match against France on Wednesday. The team is not going to take the risk of keeping Ishikawa on the court but will play it safe and save him from further injuring himself.
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