PH tennis star’s US NCAA season cut short due to virus
The memorable stint of De La Salle and UAAP tennis star Angel Santiago in the tough US NCAA Division I was cut short due to the global health crisis brought about by the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Recruited by the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns women’s tennis team, the 19-year-old Santiago, who is majoring in psychology at the University of Lafayette, is currently in self quarantine after arriving from the US last March 21. She flew to the US last January.
The Ragin Cajuns administration decided to send their foreign recruits back to their home countries as precaution before the start of the prestigious Sun Belt Conference.
Aside from Santiago, whose elder sister Regina was a former MVP and Rookie of the year for DLSU, Louisiana also sent home two four French players in the team, while two Spanish players decided to stay with their American teammates. The Santiagos were recruited by sportsman-businessman and former DLSU men’s basketball patron Johnny Valdes.
Santiago expressed delight that she and her teammates were able to take a flight out of the US.
“I’m really worried that airports will be closed,” said Santiago.
COVID-19 is now a public health emergency in the US with Louisiana not spared with more than 800 affected and 20 deaths recorded.
“I feel really happy because nothing feels like home. Especially during this time, being away from your family and friends is not really ideal when there is a virus worldwide. I’m excited to see my family and all my friends, and to go back to training when COVID-19 is over, Then of course, I’m also excited to go back to Lafayette. Spring season was cut short, but really looking forward to fall season,” said Santiago.
Santiago said they were actually preparing to travel to Georgia for an out-of-town match before the decision was made to send the foreign recruits back to their respective countries.
The Cajuns posted an impressive 9-2 win-loss record before the start of the spring season.
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