Brigadiers end Junior Altas' bid for an outright Finals spot
Mark Escarlote on Jan 08, 2016 11:03 AM
The Emilio Aguinaldo College Brigadiers accomplished their mission of spoiling the elimination sweep attempt of the defending champion Perpetual Help Junior Altas.
Emilio Aguinaldo College made sure that defending champion Perpetual Help won’t get an easy ride to the championship round Friday morning at The Arena in San Juan.
The Brigadiers outlasted the Junior Altas, 25-27, 25-21, 25-21, 21-25, 15-7, in what could be a preview of the 91st NCAA juniors volleyball title showdown and in the process clinched a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.
Ralph Pitogo, Cee-jay Hicap and Ederson Rebusora led the charge of EAC, which had enough gas left in the tank to turn back the fast fading Perpetual in the fifth set.
Pitogo displayed an all-around offensive performance, nailing 17 attacks with four block kills and a service ace for a total of 22 points to pace the Brigadiers, who are out to regain the crown they lost last year in an embarrassing fashion – losing by default after failing to show up on time in their crucial semifinal match.
Hicap finished with 18 markers while Rebusora got 12 points as EAC capped its elimination round campaign on top with a 6-1 slate.
The Las Pinas-based spikers gave away 41 free points off their errors and were outgunned on attacks, 46-59.
Darwin Salopaso and Kirth Rosos scored 16 points each for the Junior Altas, who saw their five game winning rampage come to a halt to slide back at second place.
Perpetual will claim the last semis incentive if they hurdle the eliminated Letran Squires on Sunday but can also get the Final Four advantage Friday afternoon if Arellano University drops its last game against the winless College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills.
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