Emilio Aguinaldo College bounced back from its five-set heartbreaker against Mapua with a crucial win against San Sebastian College-Recolletos, 25-17, 25-17, 23-25, 25-22, in the NCAA Season 98 Men’s Volleyball Tournament on Tuesday at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila.
The Generals, who kept their final four hopes alive with the win with a 5-2 record (fourth), convincingly won the first two sets and looked to sweep the lowly Golden Stags.
However, San Sebastian fought back with a fierce effort in the third set. After both teams went back and forth in scoring, the Golden Stags found themselves up 24-23, which allowed them to end the set with a combination play from Jan Arano to Jerick Cagang.
San Sebastian carried its newfound momentum into the final set and even tied the game at 22 apiece after a Jerimaih Salonga service error, but the Generals scored three straight points, two of which came from Joshua Ramilo’s kills.
Ramilo put up 27 huge points for EAC, built on 24 attacks, two aces, and a block. Marvin Romero followed him with 16 points on 13 attacks and three blocks, while Kenneth Batiancilla scored 10 for the Generals, who moved up to 5-2.
Kyle Villamor, on the other hand, continued his stellar play for San Sebastian with 19 points, 12 excellent receptions, and nine excellent digs.
However, it was not enough as the Golden Stags fell to 1-7 and out of the final four picture. Andrei Yape and Cagang contributed 12 points each for San Sebastian, while Mikel Mendoza scored 10.
In the afternoon game, Colegio de San Juan de Letran ended its two-game losing skid against neighbor Lyceum of the Philippines University in straight sets, 25-17, 25-19, 25-17.
The Knights, who moved to 4-4 for sixth, were led by Andrei Tongio’s three points and 23 excellent sets.
The still-winless Pirates shot themselves in the foot as they committed 18 errors and only landed 33 attempts out of their 106 attacks.
The Pirates got as close as three, 14-17, after a rare Letran error in the third set, but the Knights outscored LPU, 8-3, to close out the game after yet another attack error by the Pirates.
Justine Alejandro’s 14 points and eight excellent digs were the highest for the Muralla-based team, followed closely by Vince Himzon’s 12 points.
The Pirates were headed by Harvie Dizon’s 13 points and Charles Del Rio’s 10, but Lyceum fell to 0-8 and still failed to crack the win column.