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Jaja Santiago bares hectic 2019 plans

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Tiebreaker Times Jaja Santiago bares hectic 2019 plans News PSL Volleyball  Jaja Santiago Foton Tornadoes 2019 SEA Games - Volleyball 2019 PSL Season 2019 PSL All Filipino Conference
Photo from Roman Prospero/PSL

The Philippines’ tallest women’s volleyball player Jaja Santiago is in high demand both locally and overseas.

And she is looking to make the most of the rest of the year.

After almost leading Foton to the 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix semifinals, the 6-foot-5 spiker sets her sights on continuing to push the Tornadoes back to a title in the All-Filipino Cup, slated from June to late August.

However, Santiago admits that there are still some complications that need to be hashed out. She also plans to return to Japan for a second stint with the Ageo Medics in the V-Premiere League. The middle blocker, who is a native of Tanza, Cavite, reveals that she is being asked to return to Japan this August.

“Hopefully, makalaro pa ako sa All-Filipino.

“Tingin ko makakalaro ako doon, ‘di lang natin alam sa latter part,” she said.

Her commitments almost guarantee that she will not be suiting up in the PSL Invitational Cup, which begins on November 30. It also means that she will need to find a possible compromise so she can participate in the Philippine Women’s National Volleyball Team’s campaign in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

The UAAP Season 80 Most Valuable Player emphasizes that there will be communication between Ageo and the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. for the scheduling.

“Sa National Team, gusto kong maglaro. Sino bang hindi gusto i-represent ‘yung country, ‘di ba?

“Pero, meron pa rin akong problema kasi October ‘yung start ng season sa Japan. ‘Yung SEA Games, December. If ma-lineup ako (sa National Team), magkakaroon talaga ng problema,” disclosed Santiago, referring to the FIVB calendar of events strictly followed by leagues around the world.

In the said calendar, club leagues are scheduled at a specific time of year to avoid complications for players suiting up for their respective National Teams.

“Siguro, ‘yung federation na lang natin and Ageo ang nag-usap doon. ‘Yung Ageo kasi, ‘yung season nila is sumusunod talaga sa FIVB calendar. Ang gusto ng coach ko, mag-focus ako sa kanila kasi baka ‘pag naglaro ako sa National Team, baguhin ‘yung position ko,” she continued.

“Ongoing din kasi ‘yung season doon, baka mahirapan nanaman ako mag-adjust. Pagdating ko noong first season ko sa kanila, nahirapan talaga ako bumalik sa pagiging middle.”

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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