ILOCOS NORTE -- Jaja Santiago of Chery Tiggo was crowned as both the 2021 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference and Finals Most Valuable Player, Friday at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center here in Bacarra.
Santiago, who led the Crossovers to the second seed after the elimination round and into the Finals, normed 14.82 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.
In the three-game finals, Santiago upped her numbers, averaging 25.3 points per game.
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 had a league-high 50 kill blocks, averaging 1.28 per set, while teammate Arado had 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.
For her part, Morado had 317 excellent sets to top the league, 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 14.91 points per contest.