Mapua University continued to climb up the ladder of the NCAA Season 95 Men’s Volleyball Tournament, sweeping Lyceum of the Philippines University, 27-25, 25-18, 25-18, Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The win propelled the Cardinals to solo fifth at 4-3, while it pushed the Pirates down the cellar at 1-6.
Alfred Pagulong produced his breakthrough performance of the season and led three players with 12 points each. The outside hitter made 10 attacks, a block, and a serve, and also a huge help in the team’s passing with nine excellent receptions.
Team captain Raje Hizon and rookie phenom John Benedict San Andres once more ended in control. Hizon had all of his points coming from attacks on a highly efficient 12-of-17 clip. Meanwhile, San Andres became a menace at the service line despite ending with just an ace for his 12 markers.
Head coach John Paul Doloiras believes the team now has that winning mentality. “Alam na nila kung paano manalo ngayon, kaya ine-enjoy na lang nila ‘yung moment na nandito sila at ‘yung mga nakakalaban namin.
“Magandang indication para sa mga susunod pang laro. Sana magtuluy-tuloy,” he added.
Underlining the sweep was the Cardinals’ advantage in all scoring skills but that slightly bigger edge in attacks, 41-33, spelled the difference, especially with Hizon’s middle hits.
Despite libero Deon Colorado’s 19-of-34 performance, the Pirates succumbed to faulty passing and attack errors that accounted for most of its 25 miscues.
Outside hitter Juvic Colonia was all over the place for Lyceum with 11 points on nine attacks, a block, and an ace.
Mapua will try to carry on with this climb against San Beda University (3-3) in their battle on Tuesday, February 11. Lyceum will face fellow also-ran team in San Sebastian College Recolletos (1-5) the morning of the same day.
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