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Howard Mojica: putting EAC and the NCAA on his back



It’s a shame that barely anyone watched the Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference live.  It’s a shame that the games are tape-delayed, and, even more depressing, the games are shown past most people’s bedtimes.

It’s a shame mostly because people had very few chances to watch EAC’s Howard Mojica, one of the best men’s volleyball players in college today.

Most of the time, people need to watch for themselves to believe such conclusions but a quick look at the numbers Mojica posted last month should be convincing enough.

Facing their NCAA rivals, Mojica dropped 35 points on CSB in a losing effort. The following week, against the UAAP champs, Ateneo, Mojica exploded for a tournament-record 41 points but EAC still lost. Needing wins to keep his team’s championship hopes alive, Mojica led his team past UP with a measly, non-30-point performance, then restored order by waltzing to 35 points in a win against DLSU.

His heroics merited the Generals a third seed in the tournament and a date with the NU Bulldogs. Unphased by the long-armed wunderkinds from Sampaloc, Howard valiantly put up 35 and 31 points in their two matches. Still EAC failed to advanced to the tournament finals.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Howard Mojica: putting EAC and the NCAA on his back

Talking to Tiebreaker Times, Mojica revealed that he wanted to do more than just win in the tournament. “Siyempre, masakit talaga matalo. Masakit lalo kasi may mga gusto kasi talaga ako patunayan, hindi lang para sa akin, pati na rin sa team ko at sa mga nanunuod. Dati kasi, ang dating, pag sinabing NCAA tapos UAAP ‘yung kalaban, ang iisipin ng tao ‘madudurog lang ‘yung taga-NCAA.’ Gusto ko mapatunayan na hindi porque hindi ganoong kakilala ‘yung liga namin saka ‘yung mga player sa amin, e dudurugin lang kami ng taga-UAAP. Hindi totoo ‘yun,” the NCAA MVP expressed. EAC defeated four UAAP teams in the tournament – La Salle, UP, UE, and FEU.

He then continued by saying that there are more great players in the NCAA -like CSB’s John Vic De Guzman, Mapua’s Philip Bagalay and so on – that like him, barely get any recognition because they don’t get as much coverage.

Mojica, however, admitted that the most heartbreaking loss of the tournament was to the CSB Blazers. “Akala namin panalo na kami noon. Lamang na kami ng dulo kaso natalo pa,” said Mojica referring to his team leading 2-1 in sets then blowing a lead jn the fourth set. They again led in the fifth set but let go in the end. “Sayang kasi malaking tulong sana ‘yoon sa kumpiyansa namin sa NCAA. Hindi rin sana nadagdagan ‘yung kumpiyansa nila [CSB]. Kaso tapos na, tatrabahuhin na lang namin pagdating ng liga,” Mojica added.

When asked how it felt to score so many points and still lose, an emotional Mojica replied, “Basta ako, binibigay ko lahat ko para sa team. Kung ano na ‘yung nakita niyo sa laro. ‘Yun na ‘yun – wala na akong iniwan o itinabi.”

It turns out that Mojica habitually puts up 40 point performances in the NCAA – there just aren’t too many people that watch him – but it doesn’t bother Mojica. “Basta ako volleyball lang. Sapat na sa akin na may nagagawa ako para sa team ko.”

There are loads of stars in the local men’s volleyball game – the game just hasn’t caught on like the women’s version. Hopefully, the Spikers’ Turf can grease the wheels on the men’s volleyball train.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Howard Mojica: putting EAC and the NCAA on his back

Just a few months ago, Mojica was a part of a star-studded PLDT team that took home the inaugural Spikers’ Turf Open Conference Title. As mentioned, their games are replayed on PTV, but Tiebreaker Times is always up-to-date with the latest in men’s volleyball.

EAC recently won Game One of their best-of-three series for third place against the NCBA Wildcats. Mojica dominated anew with 21 points with a tournament-high nine aces.


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.