The FEU Tamaraws survived a gritty Mapua Cardinals with a 25-21, 22-25, 25-16,21-25, 15-9 victory to barge into the quarterfinals of the Spikers Turf Season One Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena, Monday afternoon.
The Tamaraws relied on Jeric Gacutan and Joshua Barrica to escape the Cardinals in a close first set. The errors of Mapua helped the Tamaraws to create some separation against their Intramuros rivals. Until the end, Mapua’s errors continued to haunt them as Philip Bagalay committed an antenna violation that awarded the first set to the Tamaraws.
With a comfortable 16-11 lead in the second set, the Cardinals launched a barrage of attacks to take the lead at 18-16. The Tamaraws fought back to tie it all at 20 as errors once again plagued the Cardinals. Luckily, Bagalay and Anjo Pertierra came up huge down the stretch to salvage the set for the Cardinals.
Gacutan, Barrica, John Paul Bugaoan and Peter Quiel led the FEU offensive blitz in the third set as they never gave the Cardinals a chance to recover after a close 16-13 advantage in favor of the Tamaraws. Quiel ended the set with a quick hit to give the Tamaraws a 2-1 set advantage.
Come the fourth set with the Tamaraws clinging to a 16-15 advantage, FEU committed two straight errors allowing the Cardinals to build a 17-16 lead. Bagalay and Paul John Cuzon waxed hot for Mapua in taking the set away from the Tamaraws despite the heroics of Barrica and Greg Dolor.
Both teams played nip and tuck volleyball in the fifth set with the score at five all. Fortunately for the Tamaraws, Mapua committed two straight attack errors that allowed FEU to build a 7-5 lead. Afterwards Dolor, Barrica, Bugaoan and guest player Owen Suarez collaborated to finally nail their second win and book a slot in the quarterfinals.
After the game, Tamaraws coach Joseph Santos praised the clutch performance of Dolor in surviving the five set thriller against the Cardinals.
“Seniority talaga, sabi ko sa kanya panindigan mo [seniority], lalo sa kanya ibibigay ang lahat ng bola,” Santos said.
In making in the quarterfinals, Santos said they will make most out of it.
“Pag-aaral muna, kasi Final Four muna ang isipin bago ang championship. Kailangan palakasin ang blocking at service namin,” Santos added.
Dolor top scored the Tamaraws with 18 points, 16 coming from attacks, while Barrica and Gacutan chipped 13 markers apiece.
Bagalay finished with 20 points while Pertierra contributed 15 points for the Cardinals.
The Tamaraws finished the elimination round with a 2-3 win-loss record, and the Cardinals bowed out with 1-4 win-loss card in Group A. FEU completes the quarterfinals cast as National University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, and the National College of Business and Arts already qualified in the group while Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University, University of the Philippines and De La Salle College of Saint Benilde qualify in the Group B bracket.
FEU (3) – Dolor 18, Gacutan 13, Barrica 13, Quiel 11, Bugaoan 5, Paler 4, Solis 2, Suarez 2, Navas 0, Silang 0, Garcia 0, Marmento(L)
Mapua (2)– Bagalay 20, Pertierra 15, Cuzon 9, Flores 6, Ocampo 5, Navera 5, Damian 3, Andaya 2, Bermejo 2, Evangelista 1, Diaz 0, Canlas(L)
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