The young Japanese squad will leave Manila with experience and priceless memories
Kobe Shinwa Women’s University, a young varsity team in Japan, made their first outside trip memorable after taking a four-set win over the top-seeded Petron Blaze Spikers, 25-17, 25-19, 21-25, 25-18, to sweep the Final Round of the 2017 PSL Invitational Cup, Saturday evening at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“For us, we had a very precious experience in this tournament and throughout our stay. We learned a lot from it,” Kobe Shinwa head coach Kiyozaku Yamamamoto shared.
In their final game, it was the same faces who led Kobe Shinwa to victory. Open spiker Mariko Fujiwara was the high point woman for the Japanese-side with 14 points, including 13 attacks. Kana Edamatsu added 12 markers, while team captain Chihiro Fujiwara chipped in nine markers.
“Chihiro Fujiwara surprised me with the way she led her team. Also Mariko Fujiwara, because she did an outstanding job in all of the games,” Yamamoto added.
The guest team had a third set meltdown as Ces Molina and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas were able to impose themselves during the frame. Kobe Shinwa were able to recover in the fourth set, which proved to be the conference decider.
“We did not expect that much [entering the tournament]. We just aimed at how we can handle the offensively skillful Filipino players and went on from there,” Yamamoto shared.
Molina led Petron with 16 markers.
And with the experience they gained in Manila, Yamamoto will definitely say yes if the league wants to bring in a new batch of Kobe Shinwa student-athletes.
“It would be an honor to return to the Superliga. If given the chance, we will return,” he promised.
Kobe Shinwa (3) – Fujiwara 14, Edamatsu 12, Takabatake 9, Fujiwara 9, Miyatake 8, Michishita 6, Kawabata 4, Okada 3, Harima 2, Moriwaki 2, Fujioka 1, Matsushima 0, Fukui (L), Murakami (L).
Petron (1) – Molina 16, Pontillas 9, Reyes 7, Tunay 6, Rosario 5, Aganon 5, Dimaculangan 2, Hingpit 1, Zapanta 1, Pineda 1, Dolar 0, Dusaran (L)