Yuki Ishikawa was second-highest scorer for Japan with 11 points.
Varna, Bulgaria, June 15, 2019 – Japan put an end to a three-game losing streak in the 2019 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League beating host Bulgaria in a five-set thriller 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 16-25, 25-19, 21-19). The Asians hit 11 aces with man of the match Yuji Nishida being responsible for seven of them.
Japan player Yuji Nishida: "We just wanted to show the Japanese way to win and I am happy that we managed to do it. It was a very important victory especially in such a difficult atmosphere. Tomorrow we meet Australia who has a very strong squad as well but if we play like today we’ll able to win again."
Bulgaria coach Silvano Prandi: “A match that we must erase from the memory as quickly as possible. We didn’t manage to do a single thing right. We looked like a team that is yet to learn the alphabet of volleyball. You can’t win with seven serve errors in the tiebreak, four of them in a row. What tactic can you deploy when you can’t put the ball in play?”
Japan coach Yuichi Nakagaichi: "It was nice to win this match. It was on their home court, the crowd was amazing and it is a good experience for us to get victories in these conditions. We served well during the whole match but we had some troubles with some other elements. We have to work hard and be better in side-outs. The Bulgarian team made a lot of serving mistakes in the tiebreak which gave us the necessary advantage and that was the reason why we won."
Bulgaria player Tsvetan Sokolov: “Congratulations to Japan, they played an almost faultless match. We struggled with the reception in the second and fourth set and in the tiebreak as well. And it made our attack ineffective. We need to analyze the tape and prepare the best possible way for the match against Italy. We’ve been in a similar situation before and always managed to get up. Tomorrow is a new day.”
Bulgaria player Nikolay Uchikov: “We made too many mistakes. The Japanese serve was extra special and made us look helpless. I think today we played better than against Australia but it wasn’t enough to win.”