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Iloilo burns Army, takes solo lead

Iloilo shook off a rusty start caused by a weeklong layoff before completing a come-from-behind, 17-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-18, win over Philippine Army to remain unbeaten in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference on Sunday at the Paco Arena in Manila.

D’Navigators head coach John Kenneth Panes challenged his wards after yielding the opening frame. His team responded with a dramatic rally to collect their fourth straight win in as many games and once again grab the solo lead.

“I told them we’re lacking effort. I told them to work, execute properly and do their part. I challenged them that they can’t play that way or else we’ll lose this match,” Panes said.

“Good thing they listened and responded well.”

National pool member Jade Disquitado waxed-hot on offense with 19 points to lead Iloilo. He had 18 points on 37 attack attempts and contributed four digs.

Disquitado had plenty of help on scoring with Jerome Cordez putting up 14 points all off kills, Rash Nursiddik scored 11 points while Deanne De Pedro submitted nine markers, 14 excellent receptions and four digs in an all-around effort for the D’ Navigators.

Iloilo made a late run in the third set after going down 19-21, mounting a 5-1 counterattack to move at setpoint advantage, 24-22, after a Disquitado hit.

Mark Enciso and Kevin Liberato saved back-to-back points for the Troopers to force a deuce at 24 only to see Cordez and Mfena Gaza answer with consecutive points to give the D’ Navigators a 2-1 match lead.

Iloilo raced to a 19-12 lead in the fourth frame, enough to take the fight out of Army, which suffered its second loss in four games.

Liberato finished with 19 points, Benjaylo Labide had 13 while PJ Rojas and Enciso got 10 markers each in a losing effort for the Troopers.

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