PVL: Japanese coach Minowa, husband of Jaja Santiago, to call shots for Nxled
MANILA, Philippines—Japanese coach Taka Minowa will call the shots for the newest Premier Volleyball League team, the Nxled Chameleons, in their pro debut in the All-Filipino Conference in October.
Minowa, the husband of volleyball star Jaja Santiago, gets a taste of Philippine volleyball after the Chameleons welcomed him as their head coach on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Minowa already has coaching experience and he will bring that to the debuting PVL club team.
Minowa has been serving as assistant coach of the Japan women’s volleyball team since last year. He is also part of the coaching staff of Chinese squad Liaoning Tengda.
Minowa, who will have coach Vilet Ponce De Leon as his deputy, will handle former Akari players Chiara Permentilla, Lycha Ebon, Jho Maraguinot, Krich Macaslang, Camille Victoria, Dani Ravena, and Rachel Jorvina as well as newcomers Kamille Cal, Jannine Navarro, May Luna, Maji Mangulabnan, and Judith Abil.
Minowa worked as an assistant coach for V.League team Saitama Ageo Medics, where he met the 6-foot-5 Santiago. The longtime Japan Division 1 league Asian import announced their engagement last year and has been calling the Japanese coach as her husband on social media.
Santiago, who is processing her Japanese citizenship, will play for a new V.League club after five years with the JT Marvelous this 2023-24 season and will be away with Minowa for a while as he brings his tactics to the PVL.
The former PVL MVP last played in the local pro league in 2021 when she led Chery Tiggo to its maiden pro title in the bubble in Ilocos Norte. In the past conferences, her name was listed as a reserve player but didn’t see action due to her schedule in Japan.
Minowa is the second active foreign head coach with Brazilian Jorge Souza de Brito, who coaches Nxled’s sister team Akari — the squad of Jaja’s elder sibling, Dindin Santiago-Manabat.