Jaja Santiago not letting MVP race distract her from goal of ending NU title drought
NU spiker Jaja Santiago leads the MVP race as expected. Dante Peralta

JAJA Santiago was grateful but remained grounded despite leading the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball MVP race.

The National University star currently leads the league in scoring and is among the leaders in other statistical categories, making her the leading candidate for the highest individual award.

Statistics is the sole basis for individual awards in the UAAP volleyball competition.

“Siguro thankful ako na nandoon po ako sa spot na ‘yun pero walang dapat ikalaki ng ulo or something na mag-relax ako,” Santiago told reporters after emerging from the dugout following NU’s straight-sets win over Adamson on Wednesday.

Under her leadership, the Lady Bulldogs finished the first round with a 4-3 win-loss slate and are in the thick of the fight for a place in the Final Four. NU began the second round by beating a winless Adamson squad, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19, on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre for its second straight win.

More important than the MVP though, Santiago longs to bring the Lady Bulldogs to the UAAP finals, where she can hopefully give the school the women’s volleyball crown.

“Wala naman po akong hinahangad. Ang gusto ko lang, makapasok kami sa finals at makalaro kami ng maayos. ‘Yung individual awards, hindi ko na iniisip ‘yun,” said Santiago. 

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