Rookie John Benedict San Andres delivered the crucial hits as Mapua University subdued Jose Rizal University, 25-22, 25-27, 25-23, 25-13, in the NCAA Season 95 Men’s Volleyball Tournament, Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The outside hitter was firing from all over the court, finishing with 20 points — 17 coming from attacks coupled with two service aces. His lone block of the match against opposing stalwart Matthew Miguel also fired up the Cardinals to snatch the third set against the Bombers.
Team captain Raje Hizon still finished with 12 points for Mapua, despite being checked at the net. The graduating middle blocker retaliated, nonetheless, stopping five attempts of JRU.
“Actually, ‘yung talong sunud-sunod namin talagang… Una, hindi namin alam ‘yung gagawin namin kasi nawala na kami sa rhythm nung ano eh… Kasi pinaghandaan ‘to ng husto ng mga bata,” Cardinals head coach John Paul Doloiras shared.
“Kaya binago namin ‘yung training namin. Lahat ng drills namin, lahat ng ginagawa namin, merong kasamang enjoyment,” he continued.
The Heavy Bombers threatened to take the pivotal third set with former captain Miguel Estacio at the service line, getting the lead to 20-16. After Mapua regained service, though, they eventually snagged the frame through more fluid execution.
A 50-36 edge on attacks along with 13-11 advantage on blocks steered the Cardinals to the win. The Bombers’ 33 miscues scattered throughout the match also spelled their demise.
“‘Yung mga makakalaban, paghahanda pa namin. Hindi kami magmamadali kasi may nakikita pa kaming hagdanan papunta ng langit,” Doloiras said. “Pipilitin naming makarating doon.”
The Cardinals went up to 3-3, tied with San Beda for fifth.
On the other hand, Matthew Miguel once more paced JRU with 20 points. Kenneth Daynata was a force on both sides of the court with 15 spikes, five digs, and four receptions.
The Heavy Bombers, however, slipped to 1-6 after losing their sixth straight.
Mapua will look for that one more step as it faces off with Lyceum of the Philippine University (1-5) on Thursday, February 6. Meanwhile, JRU will try to finish strong starting with the College of Saint Benilde (4-2) on Friday, February 7.