MANILA, Philippines – Jaja Santiago has trained with the Chery Tiggo Crossovers but will not compete at the 2023 English Premier League Volleyball Invitation Conference in June due to scheduling conflicts.
The Crossovers on Friday night posted a video of the 6-foot-5-year-old midfielder training with her teammates and shared what she learned from the Japanese V.League with Saitama Ageo Medics.
“Now, she is actively sharing her expertise and experience with the team during training. We are so proud of you, Jaja!” group wrote.
However, coach Chery Tiggo and team manager Aaron Velez told Inquirer Sports that Santiago won’t be ready for the Crossovers anytime soon.
“Unfortunately she is not (playing). It’s a matter of scheduling,” Velez said.
Santiago, who recently broke up with Drug Ageo after five years, has yet to reveal what’s next for her career.
Velez and Crossovers said they appreciate the presence of the 27-year-old central defender, who is featured in the Top 6 best V.League season 2022-23.
“Obviously Jaja has matured both on and off the court. She gives encouragement and advice to our senior players who are expected to lead the team,” said coach Chery Tiggo. “Jaja also inspires new players with a professional mindset that she has modeled in her coaching.”
“[It’s an] opportunity also for us to catch up and connect. Chery Tiggo Crossovers have always been a family to Jaja,” he added.
The last time Santiago played in PVL was when she led the Crossovers to their first professional crown in the Ilocos Norte bubble of 2021, where she alson MVP of the Conference and Finals.
Chery Tiggo, who missed the semifinals of the 2023 All-Philippines Games with a 4-4 record in the knockout stages, will introduce five new players in the coming days.
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