By Kevin Sox
Following the recent exit of Japanese club team Ageo Medics in the Japan V.Premier League, plans are already in place for Jaja Santiago to play once again in the Philippine volleyball scene.
The 6-foot-4 Santiago came off an impressive stint as an import for the Japanese club, proving her worth as a serviceable talent overseas.
With Santiago now back in Philippine soil, Foton team manager Diane Santiago targets a potential return for the middle blocker in the on-going Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix for their squad.
“As much as possible, we want Jaja to play so we can win a game or two before the quarterfinals,” Diane Santiago told PhilStar’s Voltaire Mendoza. “At least we will play with a complete team when we go to quarterfinals, probably against Petron or F2 Logistics.”
Jaja, however, will still have to await her formal release from Ageo Medics.
In an online report, Santiago remains grateful for the premium opportunity of making impact in the Japanese V.Premier League.
“Siyempre masaya. As a player, gusto ko lang naman ng playing time and experience, lalo na sa international. ‘Yung feeling na gamit ka nila and nagtitiwala sila sa’yo and sinusubukan ka talaga nila pigain, sobrang saya. Blessed talaga,” Santiago said to Spin.
“As their import, masaya ako na naging part ako ng team na ‘yun and nakatulong ako na dalhin sila sa Final 8. Lahat ng games na ‘yun, nandoon ako and nagtiwala sa akin ‘yung coach ko.”
The 23-year-old athlete should of course be one of the top options for the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games which the Philippines is hosting, and Santiago is pretty much open to the possibilities that await for her career.
“Sabihin nating pressure pero nagawa ko naman, kumbaga napakita ko naman sa Japan so bakit hindi ko pa magagawa dito? Siguro bibigay ko na lang yung best ko na mapakita kung ano yung napakita ko sa Japan,” Santiago said.