MANILA -- Imus-Ivy Tuason Photography is out of contention for a Finals berth in the Spikers' Turf Open Conference, even after a four-set victory against Iloilo on Monday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Imus hacked out a 25-23, 11-25, 25-20, 25-15 to forge a tie with D'Navigators at 1-2. However, their lopsided defeat in the second set proved costly for the AJAA Spikers.
"Masaya, pero on second thought, malungkot," Imus-ITP coach Sammy Acaylar said of the result. "Pinaghandaan din namin 'yung mga ibang kalaban namin, pero masaya ako kasi nanalo naman kami ngayon."
"One of the best teams 'yung Iloilo, tapos tinalo namin," the coach added.
Iloilo, meanwhile, still has a chance to enter the Finals depending on the result of the Cotabato-Cignal match which is being played as of posting time.
After Iloilo's huge 25-11 win in the second set, the AJAA Spikers regained their momentum and capitalized on their opponent's errors to gain a 2-1 advantage with a score of 25-20. Imus then dominated the fourth set and won convincingly with a score of 25-15.
Hero Austria led the charge for the AJAA Spikers, scoring 17 points on 12 attacks, four blocks, and a service ace, with 20 excellent receptions and seven digs.
Middle blockers Ronniel Rosales and Kim Malabunga also contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively, while libero Rikko Marmeto made 15 receptions and nine digs.
Jade Disquitado scored 30 points in a losing effort for Iloilo.