Veteran Japanese spikers clinch crown
- Joey Villar () - April 2, 2001 - 12:00am
Displaying power and tenacity, Japan 1 toyed with tournament favorite China 2 in a straight-set victory yesterday to rule the second Nestea Beach Volleyball Asian Women’s Championship at the CCP Complex.

Japan 1’s Ryoke Tokuno and Chiaki Kusuhara surprisingly found little resistance from the youthful but power-hitting Chinese pair of You Wenhui and Pan Wangye in clinching a 21-15, 21-14 victory and the $3,000 top purse.

So classy were Tokuno and Kusuhara, bronze medalists in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games, that they pulled away early and never gave Pan and You, aged 17 and 22, respectively, a chance to nail the title, the first staked in this year’s Asian Beach Volleyball Circuit.

"They are good players but they need more exposure to become better," said the 27-year-old Tokuno, through an interpreter, of the Chinese pair.

China 1’s Han Bo and Sun Jing, seeded second in this three-day event which is part of the "Nestea Loves the Beach" program, poured it all on Thailand 1’s Manatsanan Pangka and Rattanaporn Arlaisuk to clinch third place.

Han and Sun, who lost to their compatriots in the semis earlier in the day, had some anxious moments in the opening set but recovered in time to post a 32-30, 23-21 victory over Pangka and Arlaisuk, the 1998 Asian Games gold medalists.

Beach volleyball action resumes April 21-22 with the holding of the semis and finals of the Nestea Beach Volleyball University Challenge in Boracay.

Tokuno and Kusuhara got off to a slow start as the Chinese pair, coming off a 14-21, 13-21 loss to Japan 1 last Saturday, engaged them into a tight contest and forged a 6-6 deadlock. The Japanese spikers, however, pulled their act together and took 15 of the last 21 points to win the opening set.

ASIAN BEACH VOLLEYBALL CIRCUIT ASIAN GAMES BANGKOK ASIAN GAMES HAN AND SUN HAN BO AND SUN JING MANATSANAN PANGKA AND RATTANAPORN ARLAISUK NESTEA BEACH VOLLEYBALL ASIAN WOMEN TOKUNO AND KUSUHARA
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