NEWLY-MINTED Premier Volleyball League MVP Jaja Santiago left for Japan yesterday to rejoin the Saitama Ageo Medics ahead of the 2021–22 V.League season.
The top-tier V.League tournament starts in October, where Santiago’s upcoming stint with the Ageo Medics means that the 6-foot-5 middle blocker will miss the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand from October 1-7.
Last month, Santiago led Chery Tiggo in becoming the country’s firs-ever women’s volleyball professional champion in the PVL Open Conference, outlasting Creamline in three games.
Aside from winning the conference MVP and the 2nd Best Middle Blocker honors, Santiago was named the Finals MVP.
The first Filipino to win a gold medal overseas via the V.League’s V. Cup earlier this year, Santiago’s goal now is for Ageo Medics to reach the top of the podium in the V.League.
“Eager talaga ako na makuha yung championship title sa Japan V.League. Kasi parang ito na yung ika-four years ko to play sa Ageo,” said Santiago during a recent “Post-Game” podcast guesting.
“I want to give that championship title to them. I wanna be part of it talaga. Kaya gustong-gusto ko talagang mag-improve pa, para matulungan lalo ‘yung team namin sa Ageo, sa Japan,” she added.
With Santiago also missing the second PVL conference, which is plotting for a late October or early November opening, the Crossovers hope to complete a sweep of this season’s titles with her elder sister Dindin Santiago-Manabat leading the way.