Japan: X-League semifinals set to kick off

By Aidan Wohl

Four teams remain in this Japan’s X-League playoffs after a thrilling quarterfinal that saw upsets and teams proving their worth when the lights were most bright. This weekend should be no different, as two sets of powerhouse teams will play on an even brighter stage with tensions flaring as perhaps the two favorites, the Obic Seagulls and the Fujitsu Frontiers, will be aiming for redemption after losing to one another in the finals in the past two seasons.

Elecom is looking for its first Rice Bowl championship and Panasonic will look to get to the top with its eyes on its first championship since 2015.

Here is a preview of the semifinals for this year’s X-league playoffs

Saturday, December 10

No. 1 Panasonic Impulse vs. No. 2 Obic Seagulls (Dec. 10)

Winning both respective quarterfinal matchups with ease, the high powered Panasonic Impulse, and the Obic Seagulls, will fight for their right to play in the Rice Bowl championship in what is expected to be a close game and a shootout on the offensive end with the Impulse averaging 51 points in their last three contests and the Seagulls only allowing 15.6 points per game. The Impulse and the Seagulls have split their last six matchups with Panasonic winning the two teams’ last matchup 13-6. Panasonic defeated the Seagulls in the 2019 semifinals 24-14.

Monday, December 12

No. 1 Fujitsu Frontiers vs. No. 3 Elecom Kobe Finies (12/12)

Next Monday will see a dynasty that is aiming to stay on top of the X-League for the sixth time in seven years and a team that is looking to make its first true mark in the league. Both teams have been lights out defensively, with Kobe Finies allowing 21 points per game and the Frontiers surrendering 10.5. Fujitsu has had Elecom’s number in years past, defeating the Finies in each of their last five matchups, including a dominant 38-7 victory in Round 4. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was in 2019 when the Frontiers came away with a 31-13 semifinals win.

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