Chiefs turn back Tams, share S Turf lead
NU 2 0
EAC 2 0
NCBA 1 0
FEU 0 2
MIT 0 1
UE 0 2
ADMU 2 0
UP 2 0
CSB 1 1
DLSU 1 1
AU 0 2
DLSU-Dasma 0 2
Games Monday (July 27)
1 p.m. – EAC vs Mapua
3 p.m. – FEU vs UE
5 p.m. – UP vs Ateneo
Howard Mojica uncorked a league-high 27 hits as NCAA champion Emilio Aguinaldo College shrugged off an early Far Eastern U threat and pounded out a 22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 27-25 victory to tie National U on top in the Spikers’ Turf Season 1-Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan City Wednesday.
Mojica virtually tore the Tams’ net defense into shreds, scoring on quick sets and combination plays from the second frame on although the Generals needed to toughen up in the fourth to finish off the Tams in one hour and 50 minutes of power play.
It was EAC’s second straight win after a three-set romp over University of the East last week, keeping the Generals in step with the NU Bulldogs in Group A of the two-division tournament presented by PLDT Home Ultera.
Despite Mojica’s imposing game, which included three blocks, EAC coach Rodrigo Palmero still felt his prized ward, a vital cog in PLDT Home Ultera’s title romp in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference last May, is far from dishing out his top form.
“Even if he has played for PLDT in the Open Conference, he (Mojica) is still shy, which somehow slows him down,” said Palmero in Filipino. “That’s why we’re taking advantage of this tournament so he can gain more experience since he’s still young and has a lot more to give.”
La Salle outlasted Arellano U in the last two sets and completed a 25-17, 25-22, 25-21 victory in the second match of another triple-bill.
Arjay Onia and skipper Raymark Woo combined for 23 hits while Ralph Calasin scored three blocks and finished with nine markers for the Archers, who bounced back from their four-set loss to the Ateneo Eagles last week to join the St. Benilde Blazers at third with 1-1 cards.
The Chiefs fell to 0-2 in a tie with the La Salle-Dasmariñas side.
Palmero also took notice of the Generals’ tendency to relax.
“I don’t like those times when my players started to feel so confident when they’re leading because it allows our opponents to get back. That’s why I kept reminding them to stay focused and never let up,” said Palmero.
Kerth Melliza provided a solid back-up for Mojica, rattling off 19 hits, including 17 on attacks, while guest player April Pagtalunan orchestrated the team’s play with accuracy and produced all but one of the team’s 38 excellent sets.
John Paul Bugaoan and Jude Garcia paced FEU with 14 hits apiece but the Tams failed to sustain their hot start in the face of the Generals’ fiery comeback before losing steam in the fourth.
FEU, which earlier dropped an 18-25, 24-26, 25-12, 16-25 defeat to NCBA last week, fell to 0-2.
Meanwhile, the St. Benilde-UP clash last Monday will be shown today (Thursday) starting at 3:30 p.m., according to the organizing Sports Vision. Games in the Mondays and Wednesdays tournament are aired on a delayed basis from Monday to Friday while Saturday telecast begins at 9:15 p.m.
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