Kailangan kong maging flexible talaga -- Santiago
(Ngayon) wala na akong ayaw na posisyon kasi nati-train ko na naman sila. ‘Di ko na kailangang magdalawang isip sa mga puwesto -- Jaja Santiago
What makes Jaja Santiago even more dangerous is the fact that the 6-foot-5 National University star is now comfortable playing multiple positions.
Something that Arellano University experienced firsthand when Santiago bullied her way to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a straight sets 25-17, 25-16, 25-23, win in Game 1 of the best-of-three inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference semifinals series at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan Wednesday.
Santiago scored 24 points in an all-around performance that saw her blast 18 spikes, score three kill blocks and nail three aces, while defending the floor like her life depended on it with seven digs.
Playing with the national team and for Foton under Serbian mentor Moro Branislav in the Philippine Superliga, Santiago was exposed to playing open and opposite aside from her usual position at the middle because of her size.
“Nu’ng una nahihirapan ako. For me sobrang hirap mag-adjust sa gusto nila. Pero being a professional athlete siguro, kailangan kong maging flexible talaga,” she said.
“Dati kasi ‘pag wala akong laro sa open mas gusto ko talaga middle. ‘Pag wala akong laro sa middle mas gusto ko open,” Santiago added. “(Ngayon) wala na akong ayaw na posisyon kasi nati-train ko na naman sila. ‘Di ko na kailangang magdalawang isip sa mga puwesto.”
Santiago terrorized the much smaller Lady Chiefs with an 18-of-33 spiking clip.
“Hindi po namin expected na ganoon na talaga kalakas si Jaja. Sa kanya po kami talaga pinakanahirapan,” said Arellano ace Jovielyn Prado.
“’Di talaga naming naresolbahan si Jaja,” added Lady Chiefs coach Obet Javier.
The Lady Bulldogs can close the series on Saturday. Game 3, if needed is on Monday.
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