The Chery Tiggo Crossovers came back from the dead and defeated the Creamline Cool Smashers in five grueling sets, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-8, in Game 3 of their 2021 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Finals to claim the first-ever professional volleyball league title in the country, held at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte on Friday, August 13, 2021.
Jaja Santiago, who hoisted Chery Tiggo with her fourth set theatrics, took advantage of Creamline’s erroneous fifth set performance.
Despite playing for seven straight days, Chery Tiggo was on fire in the deciding set, going on a 9-2 run before Creamline fought to trim the gap to eight points at 8-11.
With another 4-0 rampage, the Crossovers pulled away for good, highlighted by Santiago’s quick attack off a Jasmine Nabor set.
As the Crossovers became the first professional champions, Santiago was chosen both the Most Valuable Player of the Conference and the Finals MVP.
The 6-foot-5 tower contributed significantly to the winner-take-all Game 3 with 26 points on 22 attacks, including the title-clinching kill, and four blocks.
Jia Morado and Alyssa Valdez of Creamline was named Best Setter and Best Outside Spiker, respectively. Myla Pablo of bronze medalist Petro Gazz Angels was also awarded as the Best Outside Spiker.
Best Middle Blockers went to Santiago and Riri Meneses of PetroGazz, while Best Opposite Spiker went to Kat Tolentino of Choco Mucho Flying Titans. PetroGazz’s Kath Arado was selected Best Libero.