NU ang priority ko -- Jaja Santiago

Mark Escarlote on Aug 29, 2016 07:39 PM
NU ang priority ko -- Jaja Santiago
Kung di naman magko-conflict, doon ako maglalaro. Kung may conflict man, dito ako. Kung kaya naman ng oras, malay natin magawan ng paraan. Mag-helicopter ako papunta doon --- Jaja Santiago of National University

National University star middle Jaja Santiago for sure won’t be missing any game for the Lady Bulldogs in the 13th V-League Collegiate Conference Final Four.

The defending champions are through to the best-of-three semifinals after a clean sweep of their quarters campaign capped by a 23-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-19, victory over the University of the Philippines on Monday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.    

The 6-foot-5 Santiago is also part of Foton Pilipinas which will campaign in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship slated on September 3 to 11 at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.

But in case of a conflict of schedule between the continental club event and the V-League’s semis, Santiago said that she is fully committed with NU. 

“Siyempre NU kasi alma mater and sila talaga ang priority ko eh,” said the 20-year-old middle, who had 21 points against UP. 

Santiago, who skipped Foton Pilipinas’ build up in Thailand where the Tornadoes placed sixth in the Sealect Tuna Thailand Volleyball League because of her midterm exams, assured NU’s coaching staff that she will polay with the team in the semis.

“Tinanong ko naman siya, magkakaroon yata (ng conflict sa schedule), pero good thing naman na narinig ko sa kanya na priority niya ang NU,” said Lady Bulldogs assistant coach Edjet Mabbayad.

“Pero wala pa rin namang schedule so hindi pa namin masasabi ngayon kung paano ang set up. Kasi wala pa namang sched ‘yung semis namin so hindi ko muna iniisip ‘yun,” he added. “Hintayin na lang muna namin na (matapos ang quarterfinals) kumbaga mahirap naman na magbilang kami ng gagawin namin in the future.”

But Santiago admitted that she has yet to inform the management of Foton Pilipinas that she might skip some of their games if it coincide with the Lady Bulldogs’ semis schedule, which is yet to be finalized pending the results four other teams that are still in contention for the remaining three Final Four spots.

“Wala pa kasi di pa naman sila nakakauwi dito,” said Santiago when asked if Foton Pilipinas knows about her decision. “Ngayon yata ‘yung dating nila. Siguro kung may conflict man, tingnan natin kung ano ang mangyayari, pero syempre kailangan ko muna i-prioritize yung National University kasi nasa semifinals na rin.”

“Focus muna ako sa kanila at kung magkaroon ng conflict, doon namin gagawan ng paraan at sosolusyunan kung ano ang gagawin,” she added.

If there will be no conflict of schedule between the two tournaments, Santiago said that she will surely suit up in both. 

“Kung di naman magko-conflict, doon ako maglalaro. Kung may conflict man, dito ako. Kung kaya naman ng oras, malay natin magawan ng paraan. Mag-helicopter ako papunta doon,” she joked.

Santiago will attend the Tornadoes’ training on Tuesday

“Bukas may training kami. Kailangan kasi Sept. 3 ang start ng AVC kaya kailangan ko rin humabol sa kanila kasi marami na akong na-miss na training sa kanila,” said Santiago.

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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