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Dindin Santiago-Manabat proud of sister Jaja’s Japan stint

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Tiebreaker Times Dindin Santiago-Manabat proud of sister Jaja's Japan stint News PSL Volleyball  Foton Tornadoes Dindin Santiago-Manabat 2019 PSL Season 2019 PSL Grand Prix
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After nearly seven months playing for the Toray Arrows in the Japan V-Premier League, Dindin Santiago-Manabat returned to the Philippines and played her first match for the Foton Tornadoes since the 2018 Invitational Cup

The six-foot-two middle blocker managed three points as the Tornadoes sunk against the Petron Blaze Spikers and fell to a 1-7 record.

Manabat is hopeful that Foton will improve with her return and the addition of Spanish import Milagros Collar.

“Sa ngayon, hindi namin tine-take as pressure. Basta, tine-take namin siya as a challenge kasi noong una umuwi ako dito, 1-6 kami, so sinasabi nila na pressure sa amin ‘yung. Mas gusto namin na tulungan ‘yung team muna. Kung eager ka manalo, what if sa sobrang gigil mo, mawala ka. Sabi nga ni coach na relax lang muna,” said Manabat, adding her excitement to be back playing for her mother club.

“Masaya kasi siyempre nakabalik na ako tapos nandito na ‘yung pamilya ko na na-miss ko. Pero, siyempre, nakatingin pa rin ako sa future. Willing naman ako na matuto pa. Tinanggap ko rin ‘yung Japan kasi mas kailangan namin ‘yun para sa improvement. Para na din sa National Team malaking tulong din ‘yuny nakapunta ka ng Japan kasi doon din kami nagtraining ng National Team.”

Speaking on her experience in Japan, Manabat admittedly had to adjust to the daily grind of volleyball in a country that treats the sport like a religion.

“Marami naman akong natutunan like sa blockings, ‘yung disiplina nila. Nabubuhay sila sa volleyball lang. Gigising ka sa umaga, volleyball. Matutulog ka dahil napagod ka sa volleyball. Gigising ka nanaman para sa volleyball,” the product of National University shared.

“Wala silang extracurricular kundi volleyball. Wala silang lovelife, wala silang family kundi volleyball. ‘Yun na pinakapamilya nila.”

Manabat beamed with pride when asked about her younger sister Jaja who is still playing for the Ageo Medics and is getting consistent playing time.

“Nagkita kami bago umuwi. Okay naman siya. Minsan homesick, pero part of pagiging import ‘yun na mag-isa siya and wala siyang nakakausap. Lumalaban naman siya para sa future and para sa team niya. Gusto niya din tumulong sa Foton kasi pamilya niya na nga din ‘to.”

Although she would not go into specifics yet, Manabat is excited to see where volleyball takes her younger sister after Japan.

“Sa age niya na twenty-three tapos ganoon na siya na nagagamit na, napunta siya sa good team Japan and sobrang sipag niya, proud ako,” shared the 25-year-old spiker.

“Si Jaja, sinsasabi nga nila na bata pa. Madami pang kumukuha sa kanya, hindi lang Japan. Basta sobrang proud ako sa kanya, saan man bansa siya pumunta; Europe, Korea, China. Minsan lang mangyari ‘yun sa Filipino na player.”

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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