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Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 7, 2014 - After losing the first set, Argentina bounced back and grabbed their second win at FIVB World League with a 3-1 (20-25, 26-24, 25-19, 25-23) win over Japan in brand new venue Lomas de Zamora. The home side improved to 2-3 and also enhanced the head-to-head record to 5-0 over Japan. Facundo Conte was the most prolific scorer for Argentina with 19 points, supported by Sebastian Sole who added 13. On the Asian side, which still remains winless at Pool D, Kunihiro Shimizu led the scorers with 18 tallies, while Captain Yu Koshikawa contributed with 14. This Sunday at 20.00 live broadcast by TyC Sports will take the second match in Lomas and the last one of Argentina hosting FIVB World League 2014 matches at home.

Conte carried the flag for Argentina towards a 6-4 start, and Nicolas Uriarte added a block in the next ball. The home team kept the lead to 8-5, but Japan warmed up and, a while later, opposite Shimizu levelled the game by 11-11. The Asians controlled the game through the block, stayed ahead until the 2nd TTO (16-15) and after the break captain Koshikawa enhanced to 17-15. Argentina lost their focus and Japan escaped to 20-15, but Agustin Ramonda jumped onto the court and pulled back his side to just three points behind (21-18). Despite that, Japan quickly regrouped and sealed the set by 25-20 after a bad serve from Argentina.

Ramonda remained on court for Argentina, but their game was still a bit sloppy and Japan easily took the lead to 8-7. However, the South American team lowered the error rate and Ramonda teamed up with Conte to draw numbers of 13-10 on the board. Sole smashed the ball without any obstacles at 16-14, but the local errors returned and Japan climbed back to 18-18. Shimizu nailed a counterattack and Japan regained control at 22-21, but even though setter Fukatsu blocked Ramonda to reach set ball, Conte answered the same way to rebuild Argentina at 25-24 and Martin Ramos blocked as well to finish the set by 26-24.

A solid block by Ramonda gave Argentina a firm lead for the first time in the game, by 8-5 at the third set. Ramos, who also stayed as a starter, kept the advantage at 11-8 and Conte reappeared on the attack, and although Shimizu unleashed an ace to bring Japan closer, Sole used a terrific block to establish a 16-12 score. Argentina grew stronger to 20-14, relying on Conte’s offensive skills, Ramos spiked at 23-17 and Sole closed the deal by 25-19.

Japan came out on the fourth set and rapidly escaped to 3-1 after a block from youngster Akihiro Yamauchi, but the gap narrowed en-route to the first TTO (8-7). The Asian team held the lead and improved to 13-11 through Shimizu, but Ramos achieved his fourth blocking point of the game to settle a 14-14 score. Shunsuke Chijiki provided some good spikes and Japan advanced to 19-16, but Argentina answered with an astonishing block from Sole (19-18) and a net fault tied the game at 19 points apiece. Later on, Argentina grabbed the lead for the first at 22-21, after a spike from Federico Pereyra, and the home side didn’t miss the chance. Conte fired a sharp spike at 24-23 and a serve point by local credit Lucas Ocampo wrapped up the game in the next ball.

Press Conference:

Yu Koshikawa, Japan captain: "We played a good game against Argentina today, but our mistakes cost us the game. We tried until the last ball but we couldn't."

Demian Gonzalez, Argentine captain: "We were very tense at the beginning, but as the game went on we could find ourselves and recover from a bad start. It's an important win for us and I'm happy we could celebrate together with our crowd."

Masashi Nambu, Japan coach: "We managed to play some good points, but we have some very young players who are new at this tournament. This lack of experience played an important role on today's game."

Julio Velasco, Argentine coach: "I agree that we showed some tension in the first moments of the game, especially in reception, but I'm happy with the way the team came back, even though we had our share of bad moments. For this weekend we used many new players and I think they were a bit nervous, but at this moment we need to sow, and later on we will harvest."

(FIVB World League 2014 Official Website)
(Photos FeVA)