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Jaja Santiago training with Japan national team pool

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Jaja Santiago Japan national team call-up

Jaja Santiago with the Japanese training pool. Photo from fujitv_volleyball Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — Jaja Santiago continues to train with the Japan women’s national volleyball pool.

Santiago, the Filipino middle blocker, was spotted in the photo shoot of the Japanese training pool with her fellow non-Japanese player, Melissa Valdez of the PFU Blue Cats.

The 6-foot-5 Santiago got the call-up to be part of the training camp last month after a stellar 2023-24 V.League season with her new team JT Marvelous.

The 26-member pool will train until April 30 in preparation for the Volleyball Nations League and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Santiago’s naturalization process is still ongoing but her Japanese husband and Nxled coach Taka Minowa tweeted last month that being part of the pool is a “really big step to her dream.”

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

Despite a silver medal finish, Santiago had her best V.League season yet in her first stint with JT Marvelous, emerging as the league’s best blocker for the third straight time and earning her first 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.

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.



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