Ebata guides Japan to straight-sets win against Thailand


Kyoto, Japan, June 24, 2016 - Yukiko Ebata scored a game-high 18 points as Japan beat Thailand 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-15) in their World Grand Prix Group 1 match in Kyoto on Friday.

It is the first time in 17 World Grand Prix matches Japan has claimed successive victories, consigning Thailand to their eighth loss in their past 10 matches in the tournament.

With both sides resting some of their first-choice players, it was level at 15-15 in the first set after Thailand pegged back Japan's early advantage. A strong spike from Ebata helped Japan take a 22-20 lead and Arisa Inoue sealed the set 25-20 with a good attack.

Inoue continued to score points to start the second set and helped Japan lead 2-1 after an ace. Ebata was again firing and multiple polished spikes helped Japan led 23-19, before taking the set 25-19.

Despite Ajcharaporn Kongyot's best efforts for Thailand and a team-high 13 points for the match, Japan were too good in the third set too, and after leading 16-10 at the second technical timeout, pushed ahead to win the third set 25-15 and the match 3-0.


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