MANILA, Philippines -- Jaja Santiago is set to return to Japan next month to rejoin the Saitama Ageo Medics ahead of the 2021–22 V.League season.
Santiago revealed on the "Post-Game" podcast that she has been allowed by the local volleyball federation to leave for Japan.
"Dapat, ang next ko is to play sa AVC with the national team," she said. "Pero galing ata sa Japan si (Philippine National Volleyball Federation president) Sir Tats (Suzara). Ewan ko kung sino ang nakausap niya doon, pero pinayagan niya na ako na bumalik ng Japan to play na sa Ageo."
"By September, siguro, September 1, makabalik na ako. Basta maayos ko na 'yung papers ko, as soon as possible, talagang babalik na ako ng Japan," she added.
The V.League season starts in October.
Just last week, Santiago steered the Chery Tiggo Crossovers to the championship in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference, where they
defeated erstwhile champion Creamline in three games.
Santiago won Most Valuable Player honors in both the regular season and the Finals, as well as Second Best Middle Blocker honors.
Before spearheading Chery Tiggo's run to the PVL Open Conference crown, Santiago also helped the Ageo Medics win the 2021 V.Cup in late March.
Her goal now is for Ageo Medics to reach the top of the podium in the V.League
"Eager talaga ako na makuha 'yung championship title sa Japan V.League. Kasi parang ito na 'yung ika-four years ko to play sa Ageo," she said. "I want to give that championship title to them. I wanna be part of it talaga."
"Kaya gustong-gusto ko talagang mag-improve pa, para matulungan lalo 'yung team namin sa Ageo, sa Japan," she added.
Her upcoming stint with the Ageo Medics means Santiago will miss the 2021 Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship, where Chery Tiggo was invited to take part after winning the PVL title. She is also set to miss the second PVL conference, which is tentatively scheduled for October.
For more of Santiago's thoughts on the recently-concluded PVL season as well as her future plans, listen to "Post-Game," the sports podcast of ABS-CBN News.