PVL: Fan-favorite Liao Yi-Jen surprised by Best Setter award, in awe of ‘amazing’ Jia De Guzman
MANILA, Philippines — KingWhale setter Liao Yi-Jen was amazed by Jia De Guzman’s playmaking after going up against each other twice in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference.
When asked who among the Filipino players impressed her, Liao’s hands down choice is the Creamline setter.
“Creamline setter. She’s just amazing in how she performs,” said the KingWhale captain after they settled for silver on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The 26-year-old Taiwanese was limited to 16 excellent sets in the winner-take-all final while De Guzman dished out 19 excellent sets, nine digs, and two points as Creamline dominated KingWhale in attacking, 43-30.
Even Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses credited their success for the past two conferences to their ace setter.
Liao still won the Best Setter plum after emerging as No. 2 in playmaking with 6.18 excellent sets per frame, outshining PLDT’s Rhea Dimaculangan, who was No.1 with 6.24 sets per frame, and De Guzman, who had 5.59 sets per frame in the semis.
The crowd-favorite Taiwanese can’t believe she won the award because all the setters she faced challenged her in all of their five matches.
“I completely did not expect to receive the award, I think all the setters are very good and very unique and I really learned a lot from them,” she said.
Gushing over the fans she gained in the Philippines, Liao won’t forget her experience and all the lessons learned after seeing action in the PVL.
“Coming here to the Philippines, I think that every single one of the teams is very strong and did very well and it really is a learning experience for us this time,” she said.