BINAN CITY – NEC Red Rockets of Japan dethroned defending champion Bangkok Glass of Thailand, 22-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-20, 15-7, to advance to the Finals of the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship on Saturday at Alonte Sports Arena here.
Sayaka Shinohara made 23 points for NEC Red Rockets, who will take on Ba’yi Shenzheng of China in the championship on Sunday.
Team captain Akari Oumi made 17 points, all from kills, while Sarina Koga added 15, Kana Ono chipped in 13 and Nami Sagawa contributed 12 for Japan, which was Thailand’s victim last year.
“The Thailand team that we know they are so quick but after two sets we were able to adjust,” said Oumi.
“We will do what we can against China, we will try our best,’ she added.
Bangkok Glass looked to finish the match but NEC Red Rockets, who were diving for every ball and blocking every attack, spoiled its opponent’s early celebration in the fourth set to force a deciding set.
Japan started strong in the fifth set, 5-1, before it widened the gap, 10-3, en route to sending Thailand to the battle for 3rd against Altay VC of Kazakhstan.
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hao poured in 22 points for Bangkok Glass, while Wilavan Apinyapong added 13 and skipper PLuemjit Thinkaow chipped in 12.
“Japan team is very good in receive and defense,” said Bangkok Glass coach K Pornchartyongcheep. “But we will come back next year and try to get back the title.”