By: Rom Anzures
Emilio Aguinaldo College tightened its grip on the third seed after escaping Jose Rizal University in five sets, 25-27, 25-18, 23-25, 25-22, 15-11 in the NCAA Season 98 men’s volleyball tournament at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila.
Jan Abor powered the Generals’ sixth win in eight outings with 29 big points founded on 26 attacks and three blocks while Joshua Ramilo remained steady as ever, unloading 26 points along with 17 digs.
Marvin Romero added 19 points and 10 excellent receptions in the victory.
After a tug of war for the first four sets, the Generals and the Heavy Bombers figured in another tight encounter in the closer with the former taking just a one-point advantage, 11-10, following an attack error coming from Windel Laurenciana late in the fifth.
The Generals eventually stretched the lead to two after a series of plays with Joshua Ramilo converting an off-the-block kill, 13-11, before Marvin Romero scored the last two points, including an emphatic attack off a combination play that ended the 2-hour, 35-minute contest.
EAC head coach Rod Palmero said that they will now turn their focus on ending the elimination round strong against the second-ranked Arellano University.
“Hindi ko muna iniisip yung pag-angat namin sa standings. Ang focus namin yung mga pagkakamali namin ngayon, ‘yun yung mga dapat i-improve namin para makuha namin yung (ranking) sa taas. And kailangan naming kunin yung last game so pag-aaralan naming mabuti (yung Arellano),” said Palmero.
Laurenciana and Ken Dynata’s 20-point explosions went for naught as JRU is now in danger of missing the postseason after sliding to 3-5. The former tallied 23 points laced with 23 excellent receptions while the latter came up with 20 points along with 15 receptions.
Meanwhile, University of Perpetual Help System DALTA is now a win away from clinching an outright spot in the semifinals after handing Lyceum of the Philippines University a harsh exit in straight sets, 25-13, 25-14, 25-16.
JC Enarciso once again had his fingerprints all over the match, tossing 18 excellent sets to steer the Altas to their 30th consecutive win overall to go 8-0 this tournament.
The Pirates managed to keep things close in the opening set, trailing by only two, 12-10, after a strong attack by Vergel Golloso. However, Perpetual immediately pulled away and went on a 13-3 blast en route to a 25-13 set one victory.
Louie Ramirez and Joshua Zareno spearheaded the Altas’ dominant performance in the next two sets, finishing with 13 points each for the defending champion.
Kier Tibayan and Harvie Dizon combined for 10 points for Lyceum, who ended its Season 98 campaign winless after nine games.