Iloilo extends its undefeated start after outdueling team VNS

Make it 3-0 for D’Navigators-Iloilo (Spikers Turf photo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Iloilo volleyball team selection kept its record untainted after earning its third-straight win in the ongoing 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference tournament.

D’Navigators-Iloilo wasn’t willing to concede its top spot in the men’s volleyball tournament and took down team Volleyball Never Stops (VNS), 23-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-23, held at the Paco Arena in Manila last February 5, 2023.

Team captain Jerome Cordez once again answered the call for the Ilonggos who took control offensively to fend off the VNS squad.

Cordez finished the highlight-filled match with 17 points built from 16 successful attacks and propelled Iloilo’s terrific end-game composure in the last two sets.

After finding themselves in an early hole when VNS stunned them in the opening set, the Ilonggo spikers suddenly came alive and never looked back when they scored three-straight set wins to wrap up a come-from-behind win.

Jade Disquitado, one of the most consistent players for team Iloilo during the past two wins, also showed out and dropped 12 points on VNS.

Neil De Pedro also came to the rescue for team Iloilo when he shouldered a chunk of the scoring in the third set while ending the match with 11 markers.

“Yung determination to win ng players talaga nandiyan eh. Sabi ko maglaro lang kayo nang maayos, gawin niyo lang ‘yung part niyo para kung ano man ‘yung result, wala tayong pagsisisihan,” said Iloilo head coach John Kenneth Panes.

Aside from Iloilo’s signature offensive schemes, its underrated defense also proved to be the edge in the win when they responded in the second set with huge blocks.

Naz Gwaza was a man on a mission, setting the tone for D’Navigators early in the second set allowing the entire squad to recover from a 0-1 hole.

Iloilo will have the chance to go for a 4-0 start when they face off against the star-studded Philippine Army Troopers on February 12, 2023.