Jaja Santiago, Ageo Medics survive JT Marvelous in five-set thriller

Jaja Santiago and the Ageo Medics eke out a thrilling five-set win against JT Marvelous, 25-17, 17-25, 16-25, 25-23,15-13, in the 2018-2019 Japanese V.Premiere League, yesterday at the Funabashi Arena.

Coming off a four-set loss, the Medics displayed grit and grind as they shrugged off a two-set meltdown and survived the Marvelous.

Winning the first frame, the Saitama-based squad found themselves at the receiving end of JT’s tenacious offense as the latter bagged the second and third set with Mizuki Tanaka at the forefront of the assault.

Down by two in the fourth, 8-10, Ageo rallied behind Katarina Barun as they steal the lead coming into the second technical timeout, 16-15. The Medics raced to a three-point blitz, 21-18, and held on to their lead until the final ticks of the set to force a decider.

Barun scorched hot in the fifth set, steering Ageo to a five-point advantage, 11-6. The Marvelous retaliated with a 5-2 run, but the Medics showed tenacity down the stretch to win the match, 15-13.

Barun led the Medics with 29 markers off 26 kills and three blocks while Horie Miyuki and Santiago added 22 and nine, respectively, as the Medics improved to a 7-7 card.

Tanaka’s 29 and Kotona Hayashi’s 26 went for naught as the Marvelous absorbed a absorbed their fourth loss in 13 outings.

JT registered more attacks, 73-63, and aces, 5-3, but Ageo had the edge at the net with 14 blocks to the former’s seven.

Ageo will try to earn more win as they face NEC Red Rockets while JT looks to bounce back against Toray Arrows today.

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