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V.League: Jaja Santiago tows Saitama to come-from-behind semis win over Hisamitsu

Jaja Santiago and second seed Saitama scraped past third-ranked Hisamitsu in a thriller, 17-25, 27-25, 20-25, 26-24, 15-8, to start the 2022-23 women’s V.League Division 1 round-robin Final Four on a winning note, Saturday at the Takasaki Arena.

The 6-foot-5 middle blocker was vital in the victory, putting up 17 points on 15 attacks, a block, and a service ace.

Moreover, she was hyper-efficient in her attacks, going 15-of-22, good for 68.2 percent.

“I am proud of the players who persevered through this tough game. I expected it not to be an easy game, but I didn’t expect it to be this difficult,” said Ageo Medics head coach Shigekazu Okubo.

“Even in the face of adversity, we were able to believe in ourselves and do what we needed to do, which led to our victory,” he added.

Yuka Sato top-scored for Saitama with 22 points while Serbian import Sara Lozo chimed in 20 points of her own.

The Ageo Medics joined top spot Toray as semifinals opening day winners.

Sae Nakajima paced Hisamitsu with 23 points while Belgian opposite spiker Lise Van Hecke added 21 points.

Up next for Santiago and Co. are the Arrows tomorrow, 11:05 am (Manila time), at the same venue.

Ageo Medics won the regular round series over Toray, 2-1.

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Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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