Despite the gritty fight from the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, the semifinals-seeking Mapua University Cardinals subdued them, 25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, Sunday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Team captain Anjo Pertierra paced the Intramuros-based squad with 17 points, 14 coming of attacks. Senior wing hitter Sam Damian registered 11 attacks, and two each of blocks and serves.
Mapua had to fend off JRU in the first two sets, as the latter imploded at the end part of the said frames. Better execution in the third set gave the Bombers some lease of life; nonetheless, the Cards turned up in that fourth.
Setter Raven Evangelista went to his percentage attackers in Alfred Pagulong and Pertierra to build a comfortable lead in the last frame, before back-to-back points from the skipper sealed their fifth win.
Evangelista shared that they had planned to use this game against JRU to polish their skills for the next two games. It backfired, as the Cards succumbed to errors, especially on serve.
“Siguro nang-gigil,” the playmaker admitted. “Kasi nung last game, parang andun na kami ‘eh. So, parang na-atat na kami na andun na sa point na polished na ‘yung galaw namin.”
Nonetheless, Evangelista and the rest of the Cardinals are still optimistic. “Siguro makukuha namin din ‘yung polished any galaw sa plays even though iba ‘yung receive,” he said.
Hernan Salazar led the Bombers with 13 points.
Mapua (5-2) will face the undefeated University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (6-0) on Tuesday, January 30. JRU (0-7) take on the Colegio de San Juan de Letran (0-6) in a battle of two also-rans the following day.
MU 3 – Pertierra 17, Damian 15, Egan 14, Pagulong 9, Navera 9, Hizon 2, Evangelista 1, Vargas 0, Bondoc L.
JRU 1 – Salazar 14, Sulivas 11, Rabaja 9, Lahaylahay 7, Ferwelo 6, Cruz 2, Soriano 0, Flor L, Defensor L.