'Great expectations' ahead for Japan in VNL Manila leg

‘Great expectations’ ahead for Japan in VNL Manila leg

/ 05:23 PM June 17, 2024

VNL men's volleyball

Team captains and coaches who will be participating in the VNL men’s volleyball
competition that will be held in MOA Arena in Pasay City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Yuki Ishikawa and Japan are elated to play in Manila for the third time in a row in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2024 Week 3 starting Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena. 

The Japanese men’s volleyball team, the fan-favorite of Filipinos, resumes its VNL campaign against Canada at 8:30 p.m. after the Netherlands and Brazil’s match at 5 p.m.

“We are so happy to be here again. We played for the last two years and we are doing well. This week is very important for us because, after our pool matches, we have the (VNL) finals and the Olympic Games,” said Ishiwaka, who will play in the Paris Olympics 2024. “Our goal is we’ll take good lessons to the Olympic Games. We’ll do well this weekend.”


READ: Fan favorites USA, Japan arrive in Manila for VNL

The Japan team captain, who will be with Ran Takahashi and Yuji Nishida, is determined to solidify their chances to the Final 8 with a 6-2 record in fifth place.

“Now we are preparing well, everybody here. I had some lapses in the first week and the second. We have to think always (about the) big games and we have to play well,” Ishikawa said.

Playing crucial matches in Manila, Japan’s French coach Philippe Blain vows his wards will play their best in front of the Filipino crowd.

READ: VNL set for Manila leg with Japan, USA headlining

“We know that we have great expectations also here in the Philippines with the fans. So we will do our best to make the best spectacle and the best volleyball possible to come,” Blain said.


Ishikawa agreed with his coach as Japan remains hungry despite being one of the seven countries with host France, Germany, Brazil, USA, Poland, and Canada that qualified for the Olympics.

“We are so excited to play here in front of Filipino fans. We will do our best to really show our best volleyball. I can’t way to play in front of Filipino fans,” said the reigning VNL Best Outside Spiker.

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TAGS: Japan, Volleyball Nations League (VNL)

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