The semifinals-seeking Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates waylaid the short-handed Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 27-25, 25-20, 25-18, to keep their bid alive, Wednesday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Intramuros-based spikers had to crawl back in the first two sets as the Generals built sizable early leads. The red-shirts handed the momentum to their opponents as they committed too many errors, particularly on the attack.
Team captain and setter Mark Pecaña attributes these errors to overconfidence.
“Sa tingin ko, ano eh, alam namin na kaya namin, yung team mates ko may kumpiyansa pero di nila pinu-put into action yung ginagawa nila,” he lamented.
The skipper also added that they have worked on lower sets during the break, which may have also been a factor.
“Sabi ng coach ko, matataas yung sets. So, yung problema rin na sa kin,” Pecaña continued. “So, yung ginawa namin this game, mababa na yung bola. Pero nung nagawa namin yung set, okay naman siya.”
Nonetheless, Joeward Presnede and company regrouped to steal the first two frames.
In the third set, the Pirates pounced on the Generals’ faulty floor defense and attacking to move to an 8-1 lead, forcing EAC head coach Rod Palmero to pull out setter Czarles Garcia and put Mark Castellano back to his playmaking duties after coming in as a spiker.
The ploy worked for the Taft-based squad, as Castellano produced excellent middle plays with Paolo Lim and Cedrick Rasing. However, the lead went up to double digits at 20-10, before unlikely hero Joshua Lajara put on the finishing touches on the Lyceum win.
Presnede and fellow outside hitter Jhonel Badua paced the winning crew with 14 points each. Meko Binas’ three blocks led the charge at the net for Pirates to make amends for their horrendous 33 errors.
Joshua Miña rallied the Generals with 10 markers.
The Pirates (3-3) will test their mettle against the defending champions Perpetual Altas (4-1), while the winless Generals (0-7) will face the Mapua Cardinals (3-3) earlier that day.
LPU (3) – Badua 14, Presnede 14, Ganilla 10, Binas 8, Samonte 5, Lajara 2, Pecana 1, Dulce 1, Uy Corral 0, Magpantay 0, Calvo (L), Rubio (L).
EAC (0) – Mina 10, Cilocilo 7, Lim 6, Rasing 5, Castellano 1, Lumbad 0, Garcia 0, Magadan (L).