MANILA, Philippines – The hard training and Japanese discipline are now taking a toll on Jaja Santiago and DindinManabat with a couple of weeks left before the brand-new season of the V. Premier League of Japan unfurls.
Foton team manager Diane Santiago revealed that Japanese trainers are challenging her sisters in preparation for their respective campaign for Ageo Medics and Toray Arrows, respectively.
Santiago, in fact, hurt her hands in a blocking drill while Manabat’s surgically repaired knee swelled a little bit.
But they are fine and are ready to serve as imports in Japanese soil.
“Their training there is very challenging,” said Diane.
“Jaja hurt her hands because of the strong spikes from Japanese trainers while Dindin’s knee got swollen. They also get homesick sometimes. But it’s okay. It’s all part of their birthpains. They are still ready to compete when the tournament formally opens.”
Santiago, the 6-foot-7 rising star, will play middle blocker role while fellow import in former Olympian Kenia Carcaces of Cuba delivers the points from the opposite spot.
On the same note, the 6-foot-2 Manabat will also man the middle to support open spiker Jana Kulan of Azerbaijan.
Sideliners are hoping that the Filipino sisters will be given ample playing time to serve as their source of national pride.
But Diane said things are looking positive.
“Based on their previous trainings and scrimmages, it looks that they will be given good playing time,” said Diane, adding that the Tornadoes will be in contention in the upcoming Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference despite the absence of her sisters.
“Nothing is sure at the moment as far as their playing time is concerned. All I can say is that they’re working very hard in training and we’re all hoping for the best.”
Voltaire Mendoza (philstar.com) –