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Spikers Turf: Gwaza, Disquitado link up as Iloilo stuns Cotabato to open semis


Iloilo stunned AMC-Cotabato, 25-19, 25-22, 25-23, to open its 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference semifinals campaign on a high note at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Wednesday night.

Coming off a loss against the same team in the eliminations, the D’Navigators claimed sweet revenge behind the 1-2 punch of Jade Disquitado and Mfena Gwaza. The former finished with a game-high 19 points on 19 attacks while the latter scattered four attacks, four aces, and three blocks for 11 points.

“Ito kasi back to zero na ‘to e. Semis na so talagang pinag-ensayuhan namin ‘to, nag-prepare talaga kami sa game na ‘to saka siguro para sa amin din talaga ‘tong game na ‘to, binigay talaga siguro ni Lord sa amin,” said Iloilo head coach John Kenneth Panes.

With the D’Navigators a set away from securing the sweep, Jau Umandal committed a costly attack error that broke a 23-all deadlock and pushed Iloilo at match point. Rash Nursiddik then blocked Steven Trotter for the win.

Deanne Neil De Pedro added 11 points on nine attacks, an ace, and a block to go along with 10 excellent receptions while Rash Nursiddik chipped in nine markers highlighted by four huge blocks.

“Sabi ko sa kanila mag-trabaho lang sila nang maayos. Dapat nandoon pa rin yung team work, yung discipline saka yung respect sa isa’t isa sabi ko makukuha namin ‘to kasi alam namin yung skills, nandiyan tayo e,” added Panes.

Umandal was the lone double-digit scorer for the Cotabato Spikers with a team-high 11 points to go along with four excellent digs.

Lloyd Josafat added six markers while Madz Gampong had five points.

#ReadMore  Spikers Turf: Malabunga takes charge as Imus-ITP avoids disaster vs Navy

Iloilo (1-0) will go up against the unbeaten Cignal on Friday at 3:00 PM while Cotabato (0-1) eyes bounce back against Imus-Ivy Tuason Photography at 5:30 PM at the same venue.

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