Jaja Santiago hailed as PVL Open Conference, Finals MVP after championship run

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2021 06:53 PM

Jaja Santiago is PVL Open Conference MVP. PVL Media Bureau
Jaja Santiago is PVL Open Conference MVP. PVL Media Bureau

Living up to expectations after her successful campaign in Japan, Jaja Santiago towed the Chery Tiggo Crossovers to its first-ever Premier Volleyball League (PVL) title and was crowned both the 2021 PVL Open Conference and Finals Most Valuable Player.

Santiago normed 14.8 points per game up until the second game of the semifinals -- the cut-off for the conference awards. 

The 6-foot-5 blocker out of Tanza, Cavite also led the league in spikes at 122 on a 49.8-percent success rate, third in blocks with 23, and tops in the aces department with 18 to clinch the top individual plum.

In the three-game finals, Santiago upped her numbers, averaging 25.3 points per game, including 26 points in the winner-take-all Game 3. 

Runner-up in the Conference MVP race was Creamline outside spiker Alyssa Valdez, who averaged a league-best 18.0 points per game. Valdez was also the league's seventh-best digger with 139 digs, while also being in the top 10 in receptions with 79.

Joining Santiago and Valdez in the All-Premier Team are middle blocker Ria Meneses of Petro Gazz, opposite spiker Kat Tolentino of Choco Mucho, outside spiker Myla Pablo of Petro Gazz, setter Jia Morado of Creamline, and libero Kath Arado of Petro Gazz.

Meneses led in the blocking department with 50 kill blocks, averaging 1.28 per set, while teammate Arado tallied 250 digs (6.41/set) and 154 excellent receptions on a 52.56-percent efficiency rate.

The other Angel in the All-Premier team Pablo is the league's 10th-ranked scorer at 12.36 points per game.

Meanwhile, veteran setter Morado registered a total of 317 excellent sets to top the tournament, averaging 7.2 per set. This is Morado's sixth Best Setter plum in the PVL era.

Tolentino was the runner-up in the scoring department at 14.9 points per contest.