The Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) Cardinals ended their three-game skid and sent the University of the East (UE) Warriors spiralling to their fourth loss in as many games, 25-17, 25-23, 25-23, in the Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
In their initial three games, Mapua faced taller teams that easily overpowered them with powerful hits. Against the Warriors, Mapua’s hitters had an easier time at finding gaps in the UE defense, while MIT’s blockers were also able to handle the UE attackers better than the spikers of their previous foes.
The Cardinals tallied 36 attack points to UE’s 30, while also dishing out more block kills with seven to the Warriors’ three. Mapua’s offense made up for their atrocious 28 errors. Luckily, the Warriors were just as hapless, surrendering 30 errors of their own.
Mapua Team Captain, Philip Bagalay continued his splendid offensive season with 10 points, only this time he got some much needed help from his Middle Blocker, Anjo Pertierra, who matched his effort with 10 points as well.
The opening set easily went to the Cardinals with UE struggling with their first contact. As UE’ errors piled up, Mapua erected a 20-10 lead that lasted them until the end of the set. The second frame looked like it was going to be another blowout with the Cardinals leaping off to a 17-12 lead off terrific serving from setter Raven Evangelista. Mapua was in total control until they reached set point at 24-19. UE Team Captain, Edward Camposano unloaded on the Mapua defense as his teammates valiantly kept the ball alive for him to kill. Camposano posted three points in a 4-0 run that brought his team back 24-23.
However, it was Camposano that cost them their would-be tying point. In the heat of a long rally, UE Libero Cliff Inoferio dug up a wild ball that flew Camposano’s way. Instead of setting the ball to one of his teammates, Camposano floated the ball back to Mapua. The resulting free ball turned into a devastating Pertierra quick hit that allowed Mapua to escape with a 2-0 sets lead.
In need of an offensive spark, UE opted to slot the towering, Joshua Umandal at the open hitter slot. Umandal delivered with six points in the third set alone and was pivotal at keeping pace with the Cardinals. Neither team held a lead of more than two, and both teams ended up in a 22-all tie. Pertierra swooped in and scored back-to-back points of a block then a nifty tip. Mapua, then, gave up an error followed by a Bagalay off-the-block kill to end the match.
Mapua looks to keep its bid for a Top 8 spot alive when it faces FEU next week on Monday, August 10. UE aims for a positive end to its season against the NCBA Wildcats on Wednesday, August 12.
MIT (3) – Bagalay 10, Pertierra 10, Flores 5, Damian 4, Navera 4, Bermejo 3, Cuzon 3, Evangelista 3, Ocampo 2, Andaya 0, Diaz 0, Almael 0, Canlas (L)
UE (0) – Camposano 9, Umabdal 6, Abrot 5, Alva 4, Adviento 3, Yen Cheung 3, Aljas 2, Ortega 2, Saguin 1, Lelic 0, Magdaong 0, Inoferio (L), Sawal (L)
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