NU-Sta. Elena’s Nico Almendras during the Spikers’ Turf Finals Game 1. –SPIKERS TURF PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines — National University-Sta. Elena star Nico Almendras was crowned MVP of the 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference on Saturday at Paco Arena.
Almendras raised his first MVP trophy moments before Finals Game 2, where the Nationals try to complete a series sweep of the Cignal HD Spikers for the franchise’s first title in the men’s semiprofessional league.
The 23-year-old spiker powered NU’s three-game semifinals sweep and scored 20 points in Finals Game One. He was the fourth leading scorer in the eliminations with a total of 78 points in six games and second in spiking with a 46.48% attack rate.
NU-Sta. Elena captain Joshua Retamar won the Best Setter award as he ranked second in the eliminations with 4.95 excellent sets per frame. He is also surprisingly the third best blocker with 0.67 blocks per set from a total of 14 kill blocks in the first round.
Cignal star Marck Espejo earned the 1st Best Outside Hitter plum, while VNS-One Alicia leading scorer Ben San Andres took the 2nd Best Outside Spiker.
Former Open Conference MVP Ysay Marasigan was named as Best Opposite Spiker as his team Cignal tries to equalize the series and force a decider for Tuesday.
NU’s Congolese student-athlete Obed Mukaba won the 1st Best Middle Blocker, while Cignal’s JP Bugaoan earned the second best in the position.
The HD Spikers’ defensive specialist Manuel Sumanguid was the Best Libero of the conference.
Cignal had four awardees, while NU-Sta. Elena won three individual accolades.