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Friday, June 2, 2023

Jaja Santiago trains with Chery Tiggo but won’t play in PVL Invitationals

Chery Tiggo star Jaja Santiago racks up more awards on top of PVL title.

FILE–Jaja Santiago during his stint with Chery Tiggo in the PVL. PVL MEDIA

MANILA, Philippines — Jaja Santiago trained with the Chery Tiggo Crossovers but won’t play in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference in June due to a schedule conflict.

The Crossovers on Friday evening posted a video of the 6-foot-5 middle blocker training with her teammates and sharing her learnings from Japan V.League with the Saitama Ageo Medics. 

“Now, she is actively sharing her professional knowledge and experience with the team during training. We’re so proud of you, Jaja!” the team wrote.

However, Chery Tiggo coach and team manager Aaron Velez told to Inquirer Sports that Santiago won’t be suiting up for the Crossovers soon.

“Unfortunately she’s not (playing). Schedule issue,” Velez said.

Santiago, who recently parted ways with Ageo Medics after five years, has yet to disclose what’s next for her career.

Velez and the Crossovers said they appreciated the presence of the 27-year-old middle blocker, who was part of the 2022-23 V.League season’s Best Six.

“It is very evident that Jaja has matured in and outside the court. She encourages and gives advice to our senior players that are expected to lead the team,” the Chery Tiggo coach said. “Jaja also inspires the new players to have a professional mindset which she exemplifies during training.”

“[It’s an] opportunity also for us to catch up and bond. Chery Tiggo Crossovers is always a family to Jaja,” he added.

Santiago last played in the PVL when she steered the Crossovers to their maiden professional crown in the 2021 Ilocos Norte bubble, where she also won the Conference and Finals MVP.

Chery Tiggo, which missed the semifinals of the 2023 All-Filipino Conference with a 4-4 record in the elimination round, will introduce five new players in the coming days.

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