Jaja Santiago takes flight in Japan

Philippines’ Jaja Santiago made waves when she suited up for the Saitama Ageo Medics in the 2018-2019 Japanese V.Premiere League.

Becoming the first ever Filipino spiker to ever play in Japanese league, which is one of the world’s best, the 23-year old middle blocker made every game count to display her incredible skill set.

At the end of the tourney, Santiago has amassed a total of 316 points built on 242 kills, 53 blocks and 21 aces. This, on top of a 52.7 percent conversion rate in spikes.

The 6-foot-5 tower played crucial role in the Saitama-based squad’s seventh place finish in the 11-team field.

That’s why it did not come as a surprise when Ageo Medics decided to tap her services anew, this time for the recently-unfolded 2019-2020 Japanese V.Premiere League.

Now back in Japan, Santiago is off to make Philippines proud anew as her second stint as Asian import in the highly-vaunted league has already began.

Looking to duplicate her last season’s performance, the National University standout was quick to help Ageo Medics during their back-to-back assignments last weekend.

Santiago managed seven markers all from spikes on a 35 percent conversion rate in the Saitama-based squad’s five-setter loss against JT Marvelous.

Bouncing back from a single-digit outing, she then scored 12 hits in their four-setter win over PFU Blue Cats a day later.

Santiago connected 8-out-of-17 kills for a 47.06 percent conversion rate on top of four kill blocks in her first double-figure outing this season.

Following these, they now hold an identical 1-1 card to start their campaign.

In other news, Dindin Santiago-Manabat has finally debuted for her newest squad Kurobe Aqua Fairies, also playing in the V.Premiere League.

Not seeing action in their first two games, the older Santiago scored a lone block point in her short stint during their four-set loss from Toyota Autobody Queensies.

After two weeks of action, Santiago-Manabat and the Aqua Fairies were still hapless in three games to sit at the cellar of the standings.

The Santiago sisters are tipped to face each other from different sides of the court when Ageo Medics and Aqua Fairies square off on Saturday.

(Photo credits to Instagram/Team Jaja Santiago)

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