Jaja Santiago gets Japan national volleyball team call-up

Jaja Santiago gets Japan national volleyball team call-up

/ 04:05 PM March 08, 2024

Jaja Santiago JT Marvelous V.League

Jaja Santiago playing in the Japan V.League team JT Marvelous. –JT Marvelous Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Jaja Santiago got the call-up to train with Japan women’s national volleyball pool after a stellar 2023-24 V.League season.

JT Marvelous and the Japanese Volleyball Association (JVA) on Friday announced that the 6-foot-5 middle blocker will be part of the national training pool. The Filipino volleyball star and PFU Blue Cats Cuban spiker Melissa Valdez.

“We are pleased to announce that two trainees Alyja Daphne Santiago (JT Marvelous) and Melissa Valdez (PFU Blue Cats) will participate in the training camp of the Japan Women’s National Volleyball Team,” JVA wrote.

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READ: Jaja Santiago bags awards as JT Marvelous settles for silver

Taka Minowa, Santiago’s husband, bared on X that his wife is yet to complete her naturalization but he’s happy to see the V.League mainstay progressing on her dream to play in the Olympics. 

“She’ll join the Japan national team training camp, She hasn’t [completed her] naturalization yet but this opportunity really big step for her dream. Welcome to the Japan national team,” wrote the Japanese coach, who is handling PVL team Nxled.

Santiago will train with the Hinotori Nippon until April 30 as the national team prepares for the Volleyball Nations League and Paris 2024 Olympics.

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READ: How coach Taka Minowa, Jaja Santiago are making long distance work

The 26-member Japan pool is led by team captain Sarina Koga and Mayu Ishikawa.

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Santiago had her best V.League season yet in her first stint with JT Marvelous as she emerged as the league’s best blocker for the third straight time and earned her Best Attacker award.

The former UAAP MVP out of National University was also named a member of the league’s Best Six for the second consecutive season and won another Fighting Spirit award.

READ: Jaja Santiago still far from getting Japanese citizenship

The 2021 PVL Conference and Finals MVP from the Chery Tiggo Crossovers led JT Marvelous to an elimination round and semifinal sweep before they settled for silver after absorbing their only defeat against the NEC Red Rockets in the Final

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Santiago, who last played for the Philippines in the 2022 Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, has been playing in the V.League since 2018 with her former club Ageo Medics before transferring to JT Marvelous last year.

TAGS: Jaja Santiago, Japan V.League

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