Japan outlasts Thailand to end long title drought in AVC Asian Women's Volleyball Championship
Japan bagged its fourth championship in the AVC tournament. Jaime Campos

BINAN, Laguna — Japan ended a four-tournament title drought after a thrilling win over Thailand, 26-28, 20-25, 25-16, 25-16, 15-7, in the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship finals on Thursday at Alonte Sports Arena here.

MVP Shinnabe Risa finished with 19 points for Japan, while Uchiseto Mami added 18, second best middle blocker Iwasaka Nana added 13 and Nabeya Yurie had 11. 

Japan, which dethroned China in the semifinals, reclaimed lost glory and improved from a disappointing sixth place finish in the 2015 edition that was held in Tianjin, China.

The Japanese, whose efficient reception (55.95% vs the Thais’ 29.70%) was the key to turn back the hard-hitting Thailand team, bagged their fourth championship in the tournament in an undefeated title run.

Ajcharaporn Kongyot, Pimpichaya Kokram and Thai phenom 17-year old Chatchuo-on Moksri each had 17 markers for Thailand.

Moskri was the second best outside spiker, while seasoned setter Noostara Tomkom bagged her fourth best setter award in the tournament, and Hattaya Bamrungsuk was the first best middle blocker. 

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