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HomeSportJaja Santiago to skip Chery Tiggo's PVL bronze tiff vs Petro Gazz

Jaja Santiago to skip Chery Tiggo’s PVL bronze tiff vs Petro Gazz

Jaja Santiago Taka Minowa UAAP volleyball Final Four

Jaja Santiago with husband and Japanese coach Taka Minowa watching the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Final Four game between NU and FEU at Araneta Coliseum.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Jaja Santiago will be with Chery Tiggo when it opens its bronze series against Petro Gazz in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference but don’t expect her to suit up on Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Hopes were high when the 6-foot-5 middle blocker attended Chery Tiggo’s practice but she won’t risk playing with her Japanese citizenship is still in the process.

“You will see me there but I won’t play. Because I’m in the process.  It’s hard to risk. I can play but it’s hard to risk [my citizenship process],” Santiago told reporters, supporting her alma mater National University in its do-or-die UAAP Final Four game against Far Eastern University on Wednesday at the Big Dome.

READ: Jaja Santiago training with Japan national team pool

It’s Santiago’s second day back home to the country, spending time with her husband and Japanese coach Taka Minowa and looking forward to seeing how the Lady Bulldogs play.

“So far, so good because it’s my second day here in the country. I went to Chery’s practice. That’s what I did so far because we had a pamper day yesterday,  Today, I’m here to support the NU Lady Bulldogs,” said the JT Marvelous Asian import.

“I know that they’re working hard to be in the finals again, but siyempre, maraming gumraduate sa NU so yung seniors, pinu-push na madala yung rookies rin. And, I think this year, yung UAAP, parang hindi malaki ang gap ng mga teams. Tingin ko may tough games every day ang NU sa ibang teams.”

READ: Jaja Santiago still far from getting Japanese citizenship

Santiago, who last played for Chery Tiggo in the 2021 PVL Bubble in Ilocos Norte, where she won a title and a pair of MVP awards, is happy with the growth of Philippine volleyball, which has been sensational in the PVL, UAAP, and even the Spikers’ Turf.

“That’s one of the reasons why I want to play sa Chery again. Because of the fans. Not only in the PVL, but also sa UAAP. When I watch replays of any team in the UAAP, I see the crowd na. ‘Wow. Ito na pala ang crowd sa Pilipinas,’” she said.

“Noong ako naglalaro sa NU Lady Bulldogs, yung supporters, bilang mo lang. Ngayon, nakakatuwa, nakakataba ng puso na maglaroand mag-inspire ng mga hindi lang mga matatanda pati mga bata rin na gusto maglaro ng volleyball.”

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