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Mojica, Generals surprised with quick Finals rematch

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Last Tuesday, the highly anticipated rematch of the NCAA Season 90 Men’s Volleyball Finals took place with the defending champs, the EAC Generals earning a quick, surprising three-set win over the CSB Blazers.

Billed as a duel between two of the best volleyball players in the country, only EAC’s team captain and reigning league MVP, Howard Mojica lived up to the hype, scoring 26 points on a lethal 21/32 attacking clip to go with three blocks and two aces. Mojica’s club teammate and fellow National Team mainstay, John Vic De Guzman struggled to lead his Blazers scoring just eight points.

“Hindi namin in-expect na straight sets. Akala nga namin aabot ng apat o lima tapos matatalo pa kami. Ang ganda din kasi ng nilalaro nila bago matapos ‘yung taon, tapos kami medyo pababa bago matapos ‘yung 2015,” said Mojica speaking on their shocking five-set loss to the Lyceum Pirates and his ensuing ankle injury that caused him to sit out their final match of 2015, a win against the Arellano Chiefs.

According to Mojica, the holiday break did wonders for his team. “Nakapagpahinga talaga kami tapos noong pagbalik namin sa ensayo, makikita mo ‘yung gigil para makabalik sa paglalaro.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Mojica, Generals surprised with quick Finals rematch

So far, Mojica has had much of the scoring load taken off his shoulders this season with other Generals like Israel Encina, Kerth Melliza, and Hariel Doguna consistently pacing their offense. Although still without his annual 40-point eruption, Mojica still leads the league in scoring by a mile.

“Importante ‘yun – na lahat ng spiker makakapagcontribute. Tulungan lang yan. Madalas sa akin nakatuon ‘yung block ng kalaban kaya may mga butas agad ‘yung depensa ng kalaban para makapatay ng bola ‘yung kakampi ko. Kapag sila (kakampi) naman ‘yung dinepensahan, magkakaroon naman ng mga butas para sa akin,” Mojica elaborated.

When asked about his thoughts on De Guzman’s performance, Mojica is just glad they won’t have to play against them again until the Final Four. “Babawi ‘yun si John Vic. Medyo off lang ‘yung game niya. Nangyayari talaga ‘yun. Pero kilala ko yan, malupit ‘yung bawi niyan. Buti na lang hindi pa kami maglalaban ulet,” expressed Mojica adding that he and De Guzman have developed a friendship throughout their stints with the National Team and the PLDT Ultra Fast Hitters.

Mojica and the Generals now have the fate of the Final Four in their hands as they take on the undefeated UPHSD Altas on Friday. If the Generals win, they earn a twice-to-beat advantage in the next phase of the tournament. Otherwise, the Altas march straight to the Finals and leave the Generals, along with the two other top four seeds, to tussle in a stepladder elimination.

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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.

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