Spikers’ Turf: Imus boost chances for bronze medal with sweep of Iloilo
MANILA, Philippines — Imus-Ivy Tuason Photography equalized the best-of-three bronze series, 25-19, 25-18, 25-21, and copped the third place in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference on Friday at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Ridz Muhali, Kim Malabunga, and Hero Austria showed the way for the AJAA Spikers to bounce back from a tough Game 1 loss and win the bronze medal due to a superior set ratio as Iloilo took Game 1 in four sets, 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-22, last Wednesday.
Imus didn’t need to play a decider as Cignal completed a series sweep of Cotabato in Finals Game 2 with a title-clinching 25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 28-30, 15-7 win.
Imus can clinch bronze if Cignal completes a series sweep of Cotabato in Finals Game 2
“Actually, what happened when we lost in Game 1 was a lesson for us. I told my players that we have to get this game in three sets because whatever happens if Cignal wins, we won’t need to play another game,” said Imus coach Sammy Acaylar in Filipino
“I told them to please give their best, their skills individually, and put it together for Imus. They heeded my call that’s why I’m happy.”
Muhali delivered 13 points for the AJAA Spikers. Austria had 12 points, 16 receptions, and five digs, while Malabunga also scored 12, including the game-clinching quick attack.
“I’m so happy because we were able to do the things we failed to execute in Game 1. What I liked from this team is we helped each other and worked hard to get this in straight sets,” said Austria in Filipino.
Ronniel Rosales added eight points including three of the team’s 13 blocks. Setter Ish Polvorosa also had three blocks to finish with four points while orchestrating Imus’ set plays, as Rikko Marmeto protected the floor with 20 receptions and 16 digs.
Jade Disquitado was the lone bright for D’Navigators with 21 points, providing 19 of the team’s 38 kills.
Iloilo finished fourth in the tournament