Emilio Aguinaldo College shrugged off a third-set hiccup, carving out a character-building win at the expense of College of St. Benilde, 25-15, 25-21, 26-28, 25-17, in the NCAA Season 95, Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Danrich Melad shouldered the bulk of EAC’s scoring load with 21 points, thwarting a late scare from last year’s finalist. His offensive exploits helped keep their slate pristine at 3-0 to forge a three-way logjam at totem pole position.
Joshua Mina and Mark Cabacang also played instrumental roles in averting a meltdown for the Generals, who had to swiftly regain footing after surrendering a marathon third frame. Mina supplemented 13 markers, while Cabacang contributed 10.
Meanwhile, Michael Imperial continued to be a steady source of playmaking. He kept EAC’s offense humming to the tune of 20 excellent sets, allowing his side to edge out St. Benilde in the attacking department, 52 to 50.
In hindsight, the Generals and the Blazers were equally matched on all scoring cylinders. Besides from a slim differential in spikes, the game also saw both teams tally an identical 2-2 production in blocks and a 3-2 edge in aces for the latter.
Errors spelled the biggest difference, though, as St. Benilde coughed out a whopping 42 while EAC only had 23.
No thanks to their sloppy execution, the Blazers slid to an even win-loss card of 2-2.
Vince Abrot was conspicously the lone double-digit scorer for St. Benilde. He uncorked 20 points in the match where his best offensive support came from James Paul Laguit, who had nine markers.
EAC will try to keep its hot and undefeated run rolling when it collides with Lyceum next. Meanwhile, St. Benilde will seek for a bounce back win when it faces San Sebastian. Both matches will be played on Tuesday, January 28, at the same venue.