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Press release

This was an important win for us: Bulgaria captain Filipova


Bulgaria captain Strashimira Filipova and Japan captain Saori Kimura at the coin toss before Friday's match in Sendai

Sendai, Japan, August 16, 2013 – Bulgaria handed Japan their first defeat of the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix and they did it on Japan’s home turf, edging their hosts 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 31-29) at Sendai City Gymnasium on Friday. Bulgaria captain Strashimira Filipova emphasized the importance of the win.

Bulgaria captain Strashimira Filipova: We knew it would be difficult today because we’re up against Japan who are well organised and supported. So it was good to win against this very good Japan team. This win today was maybe the most important because we started this round of the Grand Prix well and we are getting closer to the Finals. It was great for us to win 3-0 today.

Bulgaria coach Marcello Abbondanza: I’m glad to win this very important game tonight and continue towards the Finals. It was very important to start this last round with a win like this against a strong Japan team. I’m very happy to win 3-0 so congratulations to my team.

Japan No. 17 Akari Oumi: I was so nervous because it was my first game as a national team player and my play was not good, so in the next game I want to be stronger. I want to play well as a young player and become as good as the senior players on the team.

Japan No. 2 Arisa Sato: I’m from Sendai so I wanted to do my best as a home player, but we couldn’t win. It’s a real pity.

Japan captain Saori Kimura: It was our first home game for this new style Japan team. At first, we couldn’t do our best and we made big mistakes, especially at important moments, so that was really regrettable. 

Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe: It’s our first World Grand Prix with this new national team so I tried to use as many players as possible as a challenge for them, especially the younger players. Oumi and Sato only joined us a few weeks ago and were not in the best condition and that was one of the reasons we struggled today. In addition, the combinations between our setters and attackers weren’t good. Our interplay is weak, so we have to raise our level for when we get to Sapporo where we will have five games and need to be consistent. We have to use the bad points from today’s game to help us improve.


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