Ateneo's Valdez leads volleyball MVP race
Ateneo's Alyssa Valdez tries to go for the kill against FEU. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE 2) Ateneo's star player Alyssa Valdez is leading the Most Valuable Player (MVP) race at the end of the elimination round of the UAAP Season 76 women's volleyball tournament after another sensational campaign that saw her lead the rebuilding Lady Eagles to the Final Four.
UAAP Sports TV reported on Monday that Valdez, the team captain of the third-seeded Lady Eagles, had the "inside track" on the league's top individual award after finishing with the highest scoring aggregate at the end of the elimination round.
Statistics from TMX Sports showed that Valdez finished with a total of 269 points built on 212 attacks, 22 blocks, and a league-high 35 service aces.
Her 21-point performance in Ateneo's last game of the season allowed her to surpass Adamson dynamo Shiela Pineda, who came on strong in the second round to finish second in the scoring race, with 254 points (215 attacks, 12 blocks, 27 aces).
Valdez will thus repeat as the league's Best Scorer, having also won that award last season.
DinDin Santiago of NU placed third in the scoring race with a total of 234 points (189 attacks, 22 blocks, and 23 aces).
Pam Lastimosa of the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses placed fourth in the scoring list with 179 points on 145 attacks, 23 blocks and 11 aces.
One of last season’s co-MVPs, Ara Galang of De La Salle University, placed fifth in scoring with 178 points (141 attacks, 19 blocks, 18 aces).
Santiago led the way in the Best Spiker race, converting 46.10% of her 410 attempts. She was followed by younger sister Jaja, who registered a 42% success rate on her attacks.
Meanwhile, sophomore Katherine Bersola of the University of the Philippines is leading the Best Blocker race with 42 kill blocks this season, an average of 0.91 kill blocks per set.
Valdez is also the league’s Best Server, with 35 aces and an average of 0.74 ace per set La Salle setter Kim Fajardo is a far second, with 24 aces and a 0.55 average.
Fajardo, however, will likely be the Best Setter of the season, edging Ateneo rookie Julia Morado. Fajardo finished the season with an average of 6.93 excellent sets per set, while Morado is second with 6.83 excellent sets per set.
Ateneo’s veteran libero DenDen Lazaro is leading the Best Digger race, with an average of 3.38 digs per set, followed by Far Eastern University’s Christine Agno with a 3.27 average. Lazaro is also leading the Best Receiver race, with a 31.72% efficiency
In the men’s division, UST’s Mark Alfafara was far and away the Best Scorer, tallying a total of 344 points on 290 attacks, 29 blocks, and 25 service aces.
Ateneo’s star rookie Marck Espejo was a distant second in the scoring race with 298 points on 241 attacks, 34 blocks, and 23 service aces.