Parang di rin kami nawala -- Jaja Santiago

Mark Escarlote on Oct 29, 2019 12:54 PM
Parang di rin kami nawala -- Jaja Santiago
Ako nakikita ko sa national team natin sobrang laki ng possibility [na maka-medal] though wala kami ng ate ko -- Jaja Santiago

TOKYO --- Jaja Santiago and her sister Dindin Santiago-Manabat may have missed the chance of donning the national colors, but the former has high hopes for the Philippine national women’s volleyball team come the 30th Southeast Asian Games next month.

The 6-foot-5 versatile hitter, who is playing in the Japan Premier League for Saitama Ageo Medics, visited the Nationals Monday night in Sagamihara here together with another former national team member Maika Ortiz.

Santiago points out that though the country gave up some ceiling in her and 6-foot-2 Santiago-Manabat’s absence, the inclusion of Majoy Baron and Maddie Madayag together with veteran skipper Aby Marano gives the Philippines a good chance of ending a 14-year podium drought in the biennial meet.

“Ako nakikita ko sa national team natin sobrang laki ng possibility [na maka-medal] though wala kami ng ate ko,” she said.

The Santiago sisters didn’t get the green light from their respective Japanese clubs to suit up for the SEA Games. Santiago-Manabat is playing for Kurobe AquaFairies.

“Kahit di kami maglaro ang dami namang potential na mga players sa atin,” added Santiago, who played in the last two editions of the SEA Games. “Yun nga sina Maddie at Majoy so pagkatiwalaan natin sila. At the same time maganda ang ipinapakita rin nila.”

Looking at the current frontline line-up, Santiago believes that the squad remains lethal.

“Parang hindi nga rin kami nawala eh. Ako feeling ko parang hindi naman kami nawala sa national team kasi same level kaming lahat. Parehas lang naman kami ng nilalaro and at the same time parehas lang din naman kami ng experience,” Santiago claimed.

With training camps in Thailand and Japan including the exposure in the two legs of the ASEAN Grand Prix where the Filipinas won back-to-back bronze medals, Santiago sees the Philippines stepping on the podium come SEA Games wars.    

“Siguro dahil marami rin naman tayong training camp and sa ilang days pa lang nila dito sa Japan maganda na rin ang ginagawa nila and malaki ang in-improve ng national team natin,” she said. “Malaking possibility talaga na makuha natin ang medal sa SEA Games.”



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