Akari head coach Jorge Souza de Brito is expecting veteran spiker Dindin Santiago-Manabat to carry the leadership role for the young Chargers squad in the upcoming 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.
Santiago-Manabat, who spent the past six years with Chery Tiggo, signed with Akari during the off-season.
“She can bring the experience and the leadership because we’re a young team, young in the competition. She will teach the team a lot,” said de Brito during the All-Filipino Conference press conference at the Discovery Suites, Saturday afternoon.
Santiago-Manabat, 29, will bring a lot of experience to an Akari squad that only joined the professional league during the Reinforced Conference and is composed of up-and-coming stars.
The National University product won three championships in the defunct Philippine Super Liga. She also scored the first-ever professional title in PVL history during the 2021 season.
On top of that, Santiago-Manabat has suited up for the Philippine women’s national volleyball team several times. She also had the chance to play in the Japanese V.League, suiting up for Toray and Kurobe, and the Thailand league with Nakhon.
She will be joining an Akari squad that finished eighth in the Reinforced Conference.
With Santiago-Manabat now in the fold, Souza de Brito is hopeful that the Chargers can break into the semifinals of the All-Filipino Conference.
“I’m expecting the best result possible. I know that the guys will do better. We almost have the same line-up but I hope we can finish better than last year,” said the former Olympian.
“Hopefully we play in the final four and I am hoping for the best for this Akari team.”