Jaja Santiago earns spot in Japan V.League Best Six
MANILA, Philippines—Jaja Santiago continues to make history in Japan as she emerged at the 2022-23 V.League season’s Best Six on Saturday.
In her fifth season in Division 1, the 6-foot-5 Filipino was selected as one of the top middle blockers of the season after leading the Saitama Ageo Medics back to the semifinals.
Santiago along with Ayaka Araki of Hisamitsu were awarded as the top middle blockers of the tournament.
The 27-year-old Asian import, who averaged 0.67 blocks per set with a total of 87 in the season, also won the Fair Play award for the second straight year.
Sarina Koga, who led the NEC Red Rockets to a championship, headlined the Best Six and was also crowned as the MVP along with fellow outside hitter Mayu Ishikawa of the Toray Arrows, opposite spiker Danielle Cuttino of Toyota, and setter Yuka Sawada of NEC.
The former National University stalwart won the Best Blocker last season after tallying a total of 103 blocks.
The Ageo Medics finished second in the regular season with a 24-9 record.
However, Saitama finished fourth after a 1-2 finish in the round-robin semifinals, winning over Hisamitsu but losing back-to-back to Toray and eventual champion NEC.
Santiago announced her engagement to Taka Minowa last year.
Early this year, Philippine women’s volleyball team coach Jorge Souza de Brito revealed that Santiago can no longer play for the country as she began processing her Japanese citizenship.