Towering Jaja Santiago is proving to be to be a caliber, import-worthy spiker as she thrives for the Ageo Medics in the highly-vaunted 2018-2019 Japanese V.Premiere League.
Surrounded by Olympians and world-class spikers the likes of Serbia’s Brankica Mihajlovic and Turkey’s Neriman Oszoy, Santiago is introducing herself as one of the up and coming star players from the Southeast Asia region.
Santiago and fellow import Katarina Barun of Croatia have been carrying the cudgels for the Medics, who have tallied three wins in seven outings.
The 6-foot-5 middle blocker Santiago is currently ranked second in the league’s best spiker charts with 60 success kills off 116 tries for a 51.72 percent success rate in spikes.
Santiago is just less than three percent behind the tournament’s best spiker Sinead Jack of Denso Airybees, who is touting with a 54.04 percent success rate in spikes.
The National University standout has already amassed 75 points built 60 kills, eight blocks, and seven aces in seven games, averaging 10.71 hits per match.
Her best performance to date was her 16-point output during the Saitama-based squad’s five-set victory against Okayama Seagulls.
For a first time import, cracking into the top 10 of the spiking charts and averaging double figures per game are already achievements.
But while she has proven herself effective in the attacking department, Santiago needs to put on extra work with her blocking.
It looks like she is yet to master the defense against Japan’s fast-paced offense as she only averages 0.32 blocks per set — a low output compared to Jack’s tournament-high 1.29 average.
Dindin Santiago-Manabat’s Toray Arrows, meanwhile, are currently touting a win-loss 4-3 card. The older Santiago, however, has yet to see action.
But while Dindin awaits her much-anticipated first court action in Japan, the younger Santiago will continue to spread her wings.
Way to go, Jaja!