MANILA, Philippines — Tokyo Olympics Most Valuable Player Earvin Ngapeth came back strong after a rest game and led France to a blitz 25-16, 25-19, 19-25, 25-21 vs Germany yesterday at the end of Week 2 Volleyball Nations League action at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ngapeth, who rested in a 25-22, 27-25, 25-16 Japan sinking last Saturday, dropped an 18-point performance to keep the Roosters comfortably atop with 21 points, a three-point lead. ahead of the Poles, on seven victories in eight outings.
He also completed a four-game sweep by the reigning Olympic champions during their time in the Philippines.
“For me, this is the first time I’ve discovered the Philippines. It’s nice to play here, it’s really great to play here,” said Stephen Boyer, who had an all-around effort with 16 points and six digs.
After two dominant first sets, the French lost focus in the third which allowed the Germans to regroup, launch their own smash offense and steal the third set to stay alive.
It turned out to be Germany’s last, as Ngapeth and Boyer took charge of the killing blows.
Germany fell to 11th with seven points.
In the other game, crowd-darlings Japan bounced back from their loss to France with a 25-21, 22-25, 25-18, 25-19 spanking of Slovenia to move back into third place with 18 dots.
Yuki Ishikawa and Tatsunori Otsuka led Ryuji Nippon’s offense with 21 and 13 hits respectively, while Yuji Nishida, returning after a one-game absence, contributed 11 runs.
The Slovenians dropped to ninth place with nine points.
Fans were particularly thrilled with the return of the high and powerful jumper Nishida, arguably the most popular player at the international event.