By: Rom Anzures
Arellano University moved to solo second in the standings after defeating Mapua University in four sets, 15-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-19, in the NCAA Season 98 Mens’ Volleyball Tournament on Saturday at the San Andres Complex in Manila.
Still on a high from their huge five-set win over JRU last Wednesday, the Cardinals won the first set in a convincing fashion after they scored five aces and forced the Chiefs to commit eight errors.
But it was all Arellano from that point on, with the Chiefs being able to fend off any run Mapua was putting up all the way into the final set.
The Cardinals got as close as two in the final set, 6-8, after an antenna touch that was committed by AU, but Mapua failed to capitalize and eventually faced an 11-18 deficit after an attack by Kim Tan.
Down 18-23, the Cardinals made two errors on two different possessions, allowing the Chiefs to improve to 4-1 into the season.
AC Guinto played his best game for Arellano this season, scoring 12 points built on 10 attacks and two blocks. Carl Berdal also bounced back from his single-scoring game in their last outing with a 20-point performance in the win.
Mapua, on the other hand, went down to 3-2.
In the first game, College of St. Benilde swept Lyceum of the Philippines University, 25-19, 25-22, 25-23, in a game that kept the Pirates still without a win after four games.
After losing the first two sets, the Pirates managed to produce a 17-15 lead in the third, but the Blazers quickly answered with their own run led by consecutive block points by Ryan Daculan. This allowed CSB to establish a 21-17 advantage following six straight points from the Taft-based squad.
Lyceum slowly clawed back in the game once again, even getting a Mark Castellano off-the-block kill to get as close as one, 23-24, but the Blazers’ after-timeout execution showcased a perfect combination play by Jericho Fajardo to Leonard Jaboli which ended the game for CSB.
Fajardo was awarded best player of the game honors with 12 excellent sets, while Georgie Gauani and Jaboli led the now 2-3 Blazers in scoring with 11 and 10, respectively.
Over to the Pirates’ side, Kier Tibayan’s 10 attacks, two blocks, eight excellent digs, and six receptions went for naught as they go further down the standings. Harvie Dizon also put up nine for Lyceum, followed by Jeric Porto’s eight.