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Photo from Ageo Medics


Returning Jaja Santiago, Saitama fall to Hitachi in marathon V.League match

After a month off due to cancelled games because of COVID-19, Jaja Santiago and Saitama failed to close out Hitachi in their return to the taraflex.

The Ageo Medics fell short against the Rivale in a marathon, 25-21, 27-29, 25-18, 18-25, 25-27, in the 2021-22 V.League Division 1 women’s tournament, Saturday at the Saitama Prefecture Budokan.

Santiago tallied 16 points spread through 12 attacks, two blocks, and two service aces in the losing cause.

Trailing 24-25 in the deciding set, Hitachi connected on three straight possessions to complete the comeback.

Fuyumu Hawi Okumu Oba spearheaded the charge for the Rivale with 28 points on 27 spikes, while Miwako Osanai dropped 26 points of her own.

Ruriko Uesaka chimed in 14 points while American import Hannah Tapp added 11 points on four blocks.

Hitachi improved to 8-13 for eighth place while the Ageo Medics slipped to 10-7 for the seventh rank.

The game lasted for two hours and 41 minutes with the fifth set finishing in 36 minutes.

Saitama, though, just trails third seed NEC by three games. The Final Three after the regular round enter the playoffs.

Brazilian reinforcement Lorenne Teixeira paced Saitama with 29 points but went 26-of-83 in her spikes, good for just 31.3 percent.

Yuka Sato also had 19 points but also missed a lot, going 18-of-49.

Santiago and her Ageo Medics aim for a bounce back win tomorrow when they battle fifth-ranked Denso at 2 pm (Manila time) at the same venue.

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Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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