Joshua Mina powered Emilio Aguinaldo College to a step closer to the NCAA Season 95 Men’s Volleyball Final Four after dealing with a gritty San Beda University side, 25-22, 25-20, 18-25, 25-19, Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Mina finished with 24 points in the hour-and-a-half contest on the strength of 21 attacks, two blocks, and a service ace. The outside hitter also ably helped on defense with eight digs and 18 excellent receptions.
Sophomores Aeron Daduya and Danrich Melad also both finished in double digits in points with 17 and 14, respectively.
The Red Spikers kept it close in all the frames played, capitalizing on the Generals’ errors, which totaled to 26, the majority of which came in the third frame.
“Expected naman namin yun,” EAC head coach Rod Palmero commented on that third-set defeat. “Siyempre yung kalaban hindi naman yan tumitigil eh. Kahit sino kalaban natin, hindi titigil yan na humanap, makagawa ng panalo.”
Nonetheless, with a huge disparity in terms of attacks at 63 to 51, the Generals more than ended the match in their own terms.
EAC remained unblemished in six games while dropping San Beda to back-to-back losses and an even 3-3 slate. The Red Spikers fall to fifth in the standings.
“Pinractice naman namin. Pinaghahandaan naman namin every game ng mabuti kasi ayoko ng mapabayaan. Sabi ko nga bilog ang bola, dapat every harap namin sa kalaban, kailangan sigurado,” the long-time mentor said of the next few matches.
The usual numbers came up for EAC’s libero Earl Magadan on 25-of-40 and 19-of-34 on digs and receptions, while league-leading setter Vince Imperial weaved his play-making magic with 30 excellent sets.
Season 94 Best Opposite Hitter Jeffrey Losa kept San Beda within striking distance on his 16 markers on 12 attacks and four successful rejections, as Jeremy Alibayan and Abdurasad Nursiddik added 13 and 10, respectively.
EAC will stake their unblemished record when they face San Sebastian College-Recolletos on Thursday, February 6. On the other hand, San Beda will take on the other undefeated squad University of Perpetual Help System DALTA the following day.