Categories: Sports News

The Blues in the last four

After a tight first set, the Blues played their game to overcome Japan in three sets and qualify for the semi-finals of the League of Nations, with Italy as their next opponent.

The Blues were exact to the meeting in Bologna! After a successful preliminary phase, with nine wins for three losses, Andrea Giani’s players found Japan in the quarter-finals of the Nations League. Without Earvin Ngapeth, put to rest after twisting his ankle in training this Thursday morning, the Habs started this first match played in the final phase. The Japanese, after conceding the first point, raced in the lead but failed to make the break. The match was for a long time reduced to a crossover between the two teams but, as the “money time” approached, the Blues were able to widen a gap of three points. However, Yuji Nishida’s teammates (8 points) then signed a 5-0 and shook the French team. Tightening the game, the Blues knew how to have the last word thanks to a 5-1 to conclude this first set. This contrary scenario did not distract the players from the country of the Rising Sun, dryly beaten by the Habs during the preliminary phase last June.

The Blues in their hands

But, after leading the race at the start of the second heat, the Japanese fell into line. Jean Patry (19 points) and Yacine Louati (10 points) have found solutions to make life easier for the France team against Philippe Blain’s players. With a five-point lead very quickly, the Blues were able to manage their efforts without ever reviving their opponents. A last boost allowed them to take off to make the break in this quarter-final. The third set then saw the protected of Andrea Giani raise the tone of entry. If the gap has long oscillated between one and three points then between three and four lengths, the French team has never let Japan head out of the water. The first match point proved to be good for the Blues (26-24, 25-16, 25-20). The Olympic champions easily qualify for the semi-finals but the opposition will be quite different there. It is, in fact, Italy which will be on their way this Saturday with a place in the final at stake.


Tags: Blues

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