Barely facing any resistance, a pumped up Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals drubbed the National College of Business and Arts (NCBA) Wildcats 25-14, 25-21, 25-19, to claim bronze in the inaugural Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
For the first time in the tournament, someone other than NCAA MVP, Howard Mojica led the Generals in scoring. EAC’s other open hitter, Kerth Melliza amassed 13 points all off spikes while Mojica followed closely with a season-low 11 points. Team captain Israel Encina added 10 points with two blocks.
The defending NCAA champs played marvelously throughout the match, unleashing attack after attack as NCBA’s floor defense struggled to control EAC’s serves. The boys from San Marcelino tallied 41 attacks to NCBA’s 24 while serving up five aces to NCBA’s two. The same reception problems marred NCBA Game One with Mojica dropping nine aces.
With the NCAA volleyball season right around the corner, EAC head coach Rod Palmero hopes their success will carry over to their mother league. “Importante sa amin ‘yung momentum kasi nga malapit na ‘yung NCAA. Hindi pa namin nakikita maglaro lahat ng team sa NCAA kaya tatratuhin namin ‘yung bawat team ng pantay – pare-pareho lang ‘yung paghahanda namin sa kanilang lahat,” Palmero said.
Considering they have Howard Mojica, the Generals still stand a solid chance at a repeat title season. A few of their veterans, however, will not be suiting for next season as starting libero, Juvie Mangaring played his final game with the team this afternoon and starting setter April Pagtalunan being only a guest player.
“Sa tingin ko maganda naman ‘yung improvement ng team this season. May mga ipapalit naman kami sa kanila na tingin ko maganda ‘yung ilalaro this coming season,” Palmero expressed. Howard Mojica earned the first best open hitter award this season while Pagtalunan was named the best setter on the all-tournament team.
For the fourth match in a row, no NCBA player tallied a double-digit scoring performance with opposite hitter Paul John Domingo recording only seven points, Ralph John Oclima had six markers, while Jason Canlas managed five points.
The battle for the tournament’s championship continues tomorrow at 3 p.m. with the Ateneo Blue Eagles needing only one more win against the NU Bulldogs to clinch the title. That match comes after Game Two of the Shakey’s V-League Finals between the Lady Eagles and Lady Bulldogs.
EAC (3) – Melliza 13, Mojica 11, Encina 10, Doguna 9, Arias 4, Mendoza 1, Pagtalunan 1, Gorospe 0, Mangaring (L)
NCBA (0) – Domingo 7, Oclima R. 6, Canlas 5, Fuentes 4, Valenzuela 3, Nidua 1, Vicente 1, Tolentino 0, Oclima C. 0, Nullar 0, Escobido (L)