Dindin Santiago-Manabat eyes overseas comeback, leaves Chery Tiggo
MANILA, Philippines — Chery Tiggo bid farewell to Dindin Santiago-Manabat ahead of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League season as the star wing spiker looks to make a comeback on the global stage, particularly in South Korea.
The Crossovers on Thursday evening wished Manabat well in her future endeavors, which means she will no longer play for the team starting next year.
“We thank you for the passion and years you shared with us. All the best, Dindin,” Chery Tiggo wrote.
Sources told Inquirer Sports that Manabat’s camp has yet to engage in talks with the PVL clubs as she is eyeing an opportunity in South Korea.
Another source disclosed that Chery Tiggo offered Manabat an extension as her contract expires on Saturday but the veteran player “wants to test her capabilities as a professional volleyball player.”
6 years with my UAAGI/Foton/Chery family! I am so blessed to be part of this amazing team. Marami akong natutunan from management, coaches, teammates and experiences kasama kayo. Salamat 🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/B39xXOBy6l
— Aleona Santiago (@dindinsmanabat) December 29, 2022
The former National University stalwart spent the last six years with Chery Tiggo, playing for the Foton Tornadoes in the Philippine Superliga since 2016 with one championship in the Grand Prix of the same year.
After a high-scoring performance in the 2022 Open Conference, the 6-foot-2 wing spiker suffered an ankle injury, missing the whole Invitationals and playing sparingly in the Reinforced Conference, where she also entered the health and safety protocols that caused her to miss some games.
Manabat and her sister, Jaja Santiago, led the Crossovers to a historic first PVL professional championship in 2021 as she unleashed 32 points in their come-from-behind five-set victory over the Creamline Cool Smashers in the winner-take-all Game 3 in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
The 29-year-old hitter is expected to draw several offers from other PVL teams with her skill set and experience including stints in international leagues when she played in Japan V.League for the Toray Arrows in 2018 and Kurobe AquaFairies in 2019. She also saw action with Nakhon Ratchasima in the Volleyball Thailand League early this year, teaming up with Mylene Paat.
Paat, who had an MVP run in the Reinforced Conference, is expected to lead the way for Chery Tiggo next season as the team lost one of its veteran and solid attackers.
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