Jaja is the (Philippine volleyball’s) great hope -- Italian coach

Mark Escarlote on Aug 19, 2016 04:31 PM
Jaja is the great hope -- Italian coach Menta
I think after a year we can see Jaja be requested by other countries -- Italian coach on Jaja Santiago

FIVB international volleyball instructor Fabio Menta looks at Jaja Santiago as the local player that has the biggest chance of breaking in the international scene.

The Italian coach tapped by Foton Pilipinas to man the Tornadoes in the AVC Asian Club Championship said the 6-foot-5 middle’s height and firepower could bring her to greater heights.

“Jaja is the (Philippine volleyball’s) great hope,” said Menta of the 20-year-old player.

Menta observed that Santiago’s full potential is yet to be tapped. What the incoming fourth year star of National University in the UAAP, who helped Foton capture the 2015 Philippine Supeliga Grand Prix crown and to a runnerup finish in the 2016 All-Filipino Conference, is showing right now is not even half of what she can do the mentor added.     

“Jaja is absolutely a wonderful talent,” he said. “The Philippines should be very proud for the opportunity to have Jaja.”

“She’s also young and she’s also developing,” Menta added. “So Jaja’s gonna have to work hard on completing the technical package and try to be I would say the best player in the Philippines but that’s not enough.”

The coach, a celebrated international coach who manned the sidelines for the national women’s volleyball team of Cook Islands last year, said that Santiago should look beyond the local scene.

“We need to make Jaja, like some other players that we have, that can become important in the area and in the continent,” said Menta.

Santiago right now has an impressive resume of major international caps including the 2015 Asian U-23 Championship, the 28th Southeast Asian Games, this coming AVC Club Championship on September 3 to 11 at the Alonte Sports Center in Binan, Laguna and a once-in-a-lifetime stint in the prestigious 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship on October 18-23.  

“I think Jaja has the skills and the talent, she has the height for sure,” said Menta.

“She has the body to be in the international level,” he added. “I think she could do that in probably a year because she has a lot of work to do with the techniques like everybody else and Jaja included.”

Menta even made a bold statement.

“I think after a year we can see Jaja be requested by other countries.”

Now it’s up to Santiago to prove Menta is right.






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