Japan: XLeague playoffs set to kick off

By Aidan Wohl

The regular season of the XLeague has concluded, commencing the race for the American Football Japan Championship Prudential Life Cup 76th annual Rice Bowl which will see eight teams in action as the quarterfinals get underway this weekend, Nov. 19-20.

Here is the preview of the quarterfinal round

Nov. 19

Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers (2-3) vs Panasonic Impulse (5-0)

The Panasonic Impulse will look to remain unbeaten as they get ready to play the Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers this Saturday at Yodokou Sakura Stadium. This will be the first matchup between the two teams this season.

Asahi Beer Silver Star (2-3) vs Fujitsu Frontiers (5-0)

The Asahi Beer Silver Star will have their hands full when playing against the undefeated and reigning Rice Bowl champions who are in pursuit of their own title dreams. The Silver Star are coming off a win against the Tanai Deers but will need a lot more momentum and firepower if they want to put up a fight against the best of the best.

Nov. 20

Obic Seagulls (3-1-1) vs Nojima Sagamihara Rise (3-2)

After losing their first game in a marquee showdown to perennial powerhouse Fujitsu 21-18, the Obic Seagulls should remain confident going into the first round against the Rise, who should also feel momentum, outscoring their last two opponents by a combined 54 points. This will be the first time these teams see one another this season.

Elecom Kobe Fines (3-1-1) vs IBM Big Blue (4-1)

IBM aims to bounce back after getting blown out in its first loss in its last game of the regular season against Panasonic 45-14, as they get set to play Elecom Kobe at Yokohama Stadium on Sunday. Kobe will try to build off of that last game, a 19-17 win over the Tokyo Gas Creators. This will be the first time these teams meet this season.

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