Ruse, Bulgaria, May 23, 2019 – The team of Belgium made another great comeback in 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Pool 2 at the Monbat Arena. Less than 24 hours after beating the hosts from Bulgaria in fie sets, the Yellow Tigers overpowered Japan 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-23,25-18).
Gert Vande Broek, head coach of Belgium: "This is a very special feeling. I think this is the first time Belgium managed to beat Japan. It is always too difficult to play against them because they are amazing in defence. They fight for every ball and never let go. I think in the beginning my team was still enjoying the win over Bulgaria so I had to make some changes. The two middle blockers who came in did a great job. Britt Herbots made an amazing performance again scoring more than 20 points. Now we go to China from a good position. After losing the first match we came back with two victories and it is a big step for maintaining our place in the VNL in the next year."
Ilka Van De Vyver, captain of Belgium: "It is a really important win because Japan is the first Asian team we managed to beat. As a challenger we need as many points as possible in order to stay in the league in the next year. I think we were growing up during the whole game as well as during the whole tournament here in Ruse. The Japanese team is very fast and well prepared tactically. They are just everywhere on the court so we achieved a great win."
Kumi Nakada, head coach of Japan: "In the first set we served very well which helped us to play in our defensive style. But then in the second part the Belgians managed to adjust our serve and started playing very aggressively. We have shorter players than most of the other teams in the league and that’s why we use this defensive style. We still have a lot of job to do in order to improve our kind of playing and be better in the next weeks."