Jaja Santiago scores 12 points as Ageo Medics fall to Toray Arrows

Towering Jaja Santiago dropped 12 points as the Ageo Medics bowed to Toray Red Arrows in four sets, 21-25, 17-25, 25-14, 22-25, in the 2018-2019 Japanese V.Premiere League, yesterday at the Ukaruchan Arena in Otsu.

The 6-foot-5 middle blocker connected 10-out-of-17 attacks for a 58.82 percent success rate in spikes, a block and an ace in a losing effort as the Medics absorbed a season sweep from the Arrows.

With their backs against the wall, the Santiago-led squad displayed grit and grind in the last two frames, bagging the third set in dominant fashion and keeping in pace with Toray in the fourth, 21-all, before the latter stepped on the gas down the last ticks of the match.

The Saitama-based squad snapped a four-game winning streak for a 10-8 card in the Eastern Conference.

Fellow import Katarina Barun tallied 24 kills and two blocks for game-high 26 markers for Ageo, who tied the win-loss record of NEC Red Rockets and placed second in the Eastern Conference of the league.

Jana Kulan scored 23 hits built on 21 kills and a couple of blocks for Toray, who improved to a 11-7 slate in the Western Conference.

The Medics had the slight edge in attacks, 60-56, while producing the same numbers of service aces with three aces apiece but the Arrows’s big blocking game, 4-13, spelled the doom for the losing team.

Santiago and the Medics wilk try to bounce back and secure a Final 8 berth when they take on Okayama Seagulls on February 17 at 2 p.m.

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