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Japan, Vietnam spice up PVL semis


Top club teams from Japan and Vietnam can’t wait to flaunt their knack for volleyball before local fans, both out to stir up play in the semifinal round of the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference on 20 July at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The Kurashiki Ablaze from Yokohama and the Kinh Bac Bac Ninh are all set to spice up the chase in the mid-season conference of the league which is currently on a break for the men’s Volleyball Nations League staging.

Eliminations action resumes on 11 July among 11 teams divided into groups with the top two from each side advancing to the next phase with the two guest teams.

Japan backed out at the last-minute in last year’s edition of the PVL Invitational after some of Kobe Shinwa members were tested positive for Covid-19, leaving the KingWhale Taipei as the lone foreign guest squad.

The Taiwanese went on to make the finals but eventually lost to the Creamline Cool Smashers.

But the Kurashiki Ablaze side packs a lot of promise with hitters Saya Taniguchi, Sayaka Tanida, Yukino Yano and Saki Tanabe and opposite strikers Asaka Tamaru, Reina Fujiwara and Honoka Okuda expected to lead their charge.

The team, which campaigns in the Japan V. League Division 3, topped the 13th National Six-Man Volleyball League, Western tournament, placed second in the 12th National Volleyball League and finished third in the 13th National Volleyball League Grand Champion Match.

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