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EAC whips Benilde in Finals rematch; SSC trounces Letran

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In the most anticipated match of the season, the defending champs Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals swiftly took care of last season’s runners-up, College of Saint Benilde Blazers, 25-17, 25-23, 25-21 in the NCAA Season 91 Men’s Volleyball Tournament .

The Generals nearly lost an early seven-point lead, 11-4, as the Blazers took advantage of their errors. With the first set tied at 11, EAC shored up their floor defense and again lorded it over their foes, building a 20-15 lead and never looking back. The second set was a tighter affair, with the Generals piling up early errors, pushing Benilde ahead 12-10. But Howard Mojica’s powerful serving, coupled with timely hits from Israel Encina, buoyed EAC to the lead 22-20. Controversial calls marred the conclusion of the second frame, but a costly hitting error from CSB’s John Vic De Guzman gave the Generals the set, averting a dragged-out deuce. Benilde closed the match deflated by the the way they had lost the second set. EAC managed to build an insurmountable early lead and frustrated the Blazers all the way to their locker room.

Reigning UAAP MVP Howard Mojica lived up to the match’s billing, amassing a game-high 26 points off 21 attacks, three blocks, and two aces. John Vic De Guzman, however, struggled to get good touches, managing just eight points on 8/31 hitting.

Richard Tolentino continued his fantastic season, topping the San Sebastian College Stags with 21 points in an 18-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-23 nail-biter over the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights.

Ending 2015 with a surprise win over Final Four contenders San Beda Red Spikers, the Knights were clearly still high on momentum. But they could not keep up with the Stags’ offensive pressure in key moments of the match. Despite having 40 errors, the Stags threw down seven more spikes and three more block kills than their foes to seal the win.

Harold Reyes led his Knights with 18 points, while Bobby Gatdula had 15. Christian Colonia and Jahir Ebrahim paced the SSC offense with 15 and 14 markers apiece.

The Generals still sit in second place at 7-1, just behind the 6-0 UPHSD Altas whom they face on Friday to cap their season. Benilde drop to third at 5-2 with the now-3-4 Stags and the 4-3 Arellano Chiefs left on their schedule. Letran, meanwhile, slump to 2-6.

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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