📅17 April 2018
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By Jay Leon Guerrero

The last time the Tiyan Titans suffered a loss in the IIAAG Boys Volleyball League was the championship game last year in a heartbreaker against the Harvest Eagles. Monday night, the Titans got their rematch and defeated the Eagles (25-16, 22-25, 25-23) in a three set thriller on their home court to stay atop of the standings with a 8-0 record.

The Titans looked unstoppable, as they have been all season, in the opening set with Jude Cruz leading the way with five kills.

Tiyan looked to make it a fast game and win in straight sets, going up 8-2 after Ramil Padigos served up an ace forcing Harvest to burn a timeout.

The Eagles later went on a 10-0 run with James Jeong recording a pair of kills during the momentum shift. Harvest’s Mason Caldwell continued to add insurance points after Jericho Snaer from Tiyan ended the run. Caldwell recorded a kill and a big block to put the Eagles up 18-13.

Padigos helps the Titans comeback to tie the contest with a kill and another ace to have the contest tied at 20-20. An offensive breakdown by Tiyans and a Caldwell block put the Eagles ahead for good as they took the second set 25-22.

Wendy’s Players of the Game: Jude Cruz and Gary Ericcson

Caldwell and Jacob Oshiro opened up the third and decisive set recording two blocks each to ahead 6-2. The Eagles smelled upset and continued to attack but the setting from Tiyan setter Gary Ericcson was on point to help tie the contest 9-9.

The gym was ecstatic at this point as both teams battled to a 19-19 draw for the next 10 minutes of play. Caldwell records a kill in between the hands of Tiyan defenders to go up 20-19.

Tiyan reclaims the lead with Ericsson finding Snaer and Richard Santos to go 22-20. A pair of defensive errors by Tiyan has them suddenly trailing 22-23 which forces Titan head coach Rod Pama to call a timeout.

Padigos records an uncontested quick set kill in the middle to tie the game at 23-23. The Titans play good defense and errors by the Eagles helps the Titans escape with a 25-23, preserving their perfect season.

“We had to brush off on our mistakes going into the third set. We felt the pressure from them and we just needed to keep calm and play our game,” said Ericsson.

“Having big hitters like Jude Cruz and Ramil Padigos causes blockers to key in on them and in turn it gives other hitters on our team an opportunity to record kills,” said Ericsson.

“In that last set I told the team that this is our throne and we have to defend it. We had to clean up on our passing and finish strong,” said Cruz.

Cruz had a game high 11 kills for the Titans, Padigos had five kills and three aces. Caldwell had five big blocks for the Eagles. Clayton Mitchell had five kills for the Eagles.

“Every game is going to big for us so we all had to put in 110 percent every time we walk on to the court and finish strong,” said Cruz.


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