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Chuan Jiang and China delight the home crowd with a stunning comeback

China's Chuan Jiang rises to attack Japanese blockers Haku Ri and Issei Otake
Kunshan, China, June 18, 2017- Chuan Jiang and China cheered up the enthusiastic home crowd as they prevailed over Japan 3-2 (20-25, 28-26, 17-25, 25-22, 17-15) in a exciting tie-breaker match in pool G of the FIVB World League. 

Japan started off well with aces and strong spikes, leading 8-4 and 16-12. The guests set the tone 21-14 with consecutive attacks, but China responded with powerful attacks by Wenjun Zhong and Chuan Jiang, Longhai Chen’s block helped China catch up to 17-22. A service error by Wenjun Zhong ended the first set at 20-25. 

Both sides committed several service errors. The score was tight until an ace by Yamauchi Akihiro pushed the score to 8-6. China reversed the score to 12-11 by Chuan Jiang’s spike. Japan requested a timeout after spiking out of bounds. China led 13-11. Runming Li’s block widened the gap to 16-13. Japan came back to 18-18 with a double block. The next rallies became a point-by-point battle, all the way from 20-20 and 23-23. After a service error by Yuki Ishikawa, Japan lost the set ball while China took the opportunity to lead 25-24 with a double block. China ended the score 27-25. 

The third set saw China take the lead at the very beginning until a double block from Japan reversed the situation, leading 8-5 and 16-11. Yuki Ishikawa’s powerful spike caused China to request a timeout when the score was 19-13. China’s second block in a row narrowed the lead to four points (16-20). Japan continued to smash thundering attacks and China spiked the ball out of the court, losing 17-25. 
China continued to seize the initiative in the fourth set, edging their opponents with small advantages. Japan saved two set balls, but Chuan Jiang closed the set 25-21, sending the final match of pool G preliminary to a tie-breaker. 

The deciding-set was close until Japan widened the gap to 10-6. China then saved five match points to end the set 17-15. China won all of its home matches.

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