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Japan beat Turkey for second straight win in Finals

Haruka Miyashita sets for Japan against Turkey
Tokyo, Japan, August 21, 2014 – Japan won their second straight match in the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals on Thursday, beating Turkey 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-17) at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Thursday and giving coach Masayoshi Manabe a happy 51st birthday.

Key points:

Saori Kimura and Yuki Ishii led Japan with 14 points each; Turkey’s top scorer was Neriman Ozsoy with 11 points.  

Japan had seven block points to Turkey’s nine. Japan outserved Turkey 6-2.

Japan now have a 2-0 record; Turkey are 1-1.

The two sides have now met six times in the World Grand Prix with both winning three times. 

Turkey triumphed 3-0 in Ankara on August 1. 

Japan started their Finals campaign with a 3-1 victory over Russia. 

Japan have now won six in a row in the World Grand Prix, their longest winning streak in the competition since posting seven successive victories in 2012-2013. 

Turkey started their Finals campaign by beating Brazil 3-2, thereby ending an 18-match winning streak by the reigning champions in the World Grand Prix. 

It’s the first 3-0 result (win or loss) for Turkey in their last 10 World Grand Prix matches. 

Japan overturned an early Turkish lead in the match – helped by an ace by Haruka Miyashita – and they were two points ahead at the first technical timeout, although neither side could find a good attacking rhythm in the early stages. Japan were let down by four wayward serves in the opening half of the set, but Turkey called a timeout at 10-14 after a typically crafty ace from captain Saori Kimura and a super block by Risa Shinnabe (173 cm) on Kubra Akman (197 cm). Turkey’s Neriman Ozsoy did manage to land a huge spike but Miyashita delivered another unreturnable serve to put Japan 16-11 up at the second TTO. Another big block – this time by Kana Ono on Ozsoy – gave Japan a 19-12 lead and Turkey their second timeout. Two good shots by Yuki Ishii pushed the score on for Japan and two more by Ono extended their lead to 10 points at 23-13. Kimura made a great block on Pasaoglu Guldeniz Onal for setpoint and a firm hit by Ishii put Japan 1-0 ahead.

Sloppy play by Japan – including another missed serve and some poor reception – allowed Turkey to take a 3-0 lead in the second set but Japan started to defend brilliantly and clawed their way back with good work by Kimura and a fine block by setter Miyashita on Ozsoy. Turkey replied through Gozde Sonsirma, while Akyol Naz Aydemir blocked Miyu Nagaoka to give the Turks a one-point advantage at the first TTO. Ozsoy kept the Turks ahead but Ishii and Ono made sure Japan stayed close behind. A mammoth point with fantastic defending from both sides saw Japan creep ahead at 13-12 and after Nagaoka made it a two-point lead, Turkey coach Massimo Barbolini called a timeout. Japan added two more points to lead 16-12 at the second TTO and were helped by blocks from Nagaoka and Shinnabe. Setpoint  came on a miracle recovery shot from a prone Ono and a netted serve by Sonsirma put Japan 2-0 up. 

Kimura and Nagaoka landed some big shots to help Japan to an 8-6 lead at the first TTO in the third set and Barbolini called a timeout with the score at 12-9. Two big thumps and a tipover by Nagaoka extended the lead to five points at 15-10 and a miss by Sonsirma put Japan six points up at the second TTO. Backed by a happy and noisy crowd, Japan cruised to victory against a Turkey side that was a shadow of the team that beat defending champions Brazil on Wednesday.  


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