Iloilo took advantage of its edge in manpower as it toppled short-handed Ateneo-Fudgee Barr, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19, to close out its elims campaign with a 2-3 card in Pool A of the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila Sunday night.
The D’Navigators played pressure-free after bowing out of the quarterfinal race with a shutout loss to the powerhouse Sta. Elena Nationals the last time out, imposing their will early on their way to completing a straight-set romp over the Blue Eagles.
"Alam naman namin na kahit na whatever the result is, hindi talaga kami makakapasok sa top two because of unfortunate results sa last games. Siguro yun yung naging advantage, nag-enjoy kami at there was no pressure," said Iloilo coach Joshua Sabitchana.
Kyle Villamor led the D'Navigators with 13 points while Giles Torres added nine markers as 11 of the 14 players fielded in by Sabitchana scored in the match.
Jetlee Gopio top-scored for Ateneo with 12 points, including three blocks, while Kennedy Batas delivered 11 points for the Blue Eagles, who failed to advance with a 1-3 card.
Ateneo, which played without top hitters Jian Salarzon and Amil Pacinio, who were both representing the school in the ongoing UAAP beach volley tournament, closes out its campaign against Perpetual-Kinto Tyres on Friday.