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    Thu, Oct 6

    BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — Chery Tiggo star Jaja Santiago was crowned as MVP of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.

    The 6-foot-5 middle blocker raised the first professional MVP trophy on Friday at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center, moments after Chery Tiggo battled back from two sets down in Game 3 to beat Creamline for the championship.

    The individual awards were based solely on statistics, doing away with the voting process.

    Santiago also took one of the two Best Middle Blocker awards after emerging as the tournament’s top spiker with 49.80% attack efficiency, top server with 0.47 ace per set and No. 3 in blocking with 0.61 kill block per set after the semifinals.

    The 25-year-old import of Saitama Ageo Medics in the Japan league averaged 14.82 points per game from eliminations to semifinals Game 2, which was the league’s cut-off for the individual awards.

    Santiago led the All-Premier Team composed of outside spikers Alyssa Valdez of Creamline and Myla Pablo of Petro Gazz; middle blockers Ria Meneses of Petro Gazz; opposite spiker Kat Tolentino of Choco Mucho; setter Jia Morado of the Cool Smashers and libero Kath Arado of Petro Gazz.

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    Valdez finished runner-up in the MVP race but earned the Best Outside hitter after leading all scorers with an average of 18.0 points per game.

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    She finished No.3 in attacking with 39.34%, fifth in service with 0.39 aces per set, eighth in blocking with 0.34 blocks per set and seventh in digs with 3.16 average by set.

    Morado earned her sixth PVL Best Setter plum after leading the race with 7.20 excellent sets per frame on a total of 317 excellent sets.

    Petro Gazz had three individual awardees to cap its bronze medal finish in the PVL bubble.

    Meneses delivered a league-high 50 kill blocks, averaging 1.28 per set. Arado had 6.41 digs per set and 52.56-percent efficiency in excellent receptions, while Pablo was the league's top 10 scorer with 12.36 points per game joining Valdez as the Best Outside hitters of the conference.

    Tolentino was the No.2 scorer with 14.91 points per contest to win the Best Opposite Spiker award for the second straight time.

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