UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Akala ko si Pons ang MVP -- Santiago

Mark Escarlote on May 01, 2018 09:41 PM
UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Akala ko si Pons ang MVP -- Santiago
Sabi ko nga special mention ko siya kasi nakita naman natin nadala niya ang team niya sa Finals and sobrang laki ng contribution niya at ‘yung effort niya para sa team niya. (Kaya) sabi ko talaga di ko in-expect na MVP ako -- UAAP Season 80 MVP Jaja Santiago

Jaja Santiago on her last playing year tried to bring National University back into UAAP women’s volleyball radar.

Although the Lady Bulldogs failed to live up to the preseason hype, falling short in their return in the Final Four for the first time in three years following a sloppy second round after a good start, Santiago’s performance earned her the most coveted individual award.

The 6-foot-5 versatile hitter bagged the Season 80 Most Valuable Player award as a parting gift for her five colorful years with NU.    

But despite a well-deserved recognition, Santiago thought that the honor belonged to another graduating player in Far Eastern University hotshot Bernadeth Pons.

“Akala ko si Pons talaga ‘yung magiging MVP,” said Santiago, who also won the Best Spiker award.

Santiago averaged 20 points per game in the elimination round and had a 41.76% attacking efficiency.

Pons, on the other, normed with 15.3 points per outing and the best non-libero in the reception category with a 45.16% efficiency rate.  

“Ang MVP award na ‘yun bonus na lang sa akin ngayong UAAP Season 80 kasi sabi ko hindi ko naman ine-expect na mage-MVP ako,” said Santiago. “Kasi ngayong season na ‘to sobrang nagfa-flactuate talaga ang mga teams eh. Hindi mo alam sino magcha-champion, sino papasok sa Final Four. Parang performance din namin taas-baba and maraming nagi-improve na players lalo na si Pons.”

“Sabi ko nga special mention ko siya kasi nakita naman natin nadala niya ang team niya sa Finals and sobrang laki ng contribution niya at ‘yung effort niya para sa team niya. (Kaya) sabi ko talaga di ko in-expect na MVP ako,” added Santiago, whose squad was swept by Pons’ Lady Tamaraws this season.

The towering hitter credited her teammates for helping her claim the recognition.

“It’s a great honor na maging MVP ako this end of the season namin sa UAAP. Hindi man kami pinalad na mag-champion or umabot sa Finals itong award na ito ang nag-prove na ginawa namin ang best namin (as a team),” she said. “Kasi sabi ko nga hindi ko makukuha ‘tong award na ‘to kung ‘di dahil sa teammates ko so it shows pa rin na nabigay namin ‘yung best namin kahit ‘di kami umabot sa Finals.”

Santiago and the rest of the individual award winners will be feted on Wednesday before the Finals Game 2 between De La Salle University and FEU at the Big Dome.

Catch Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Women's Volleyball Finals LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, Liga on SkyCable channel 83, Liga HD on SkyCable channel 186 and via livestream.

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