(UPDATED) Jaja Santiago and the Saitama Ageo Medics absorbed a second consecutive setback in the V.League, falling to defending champions JT Marvelous in straight sets at the Higashiyama Gymnasium in Kyoto on Sunday afternoon.
JT Marvelous rode the momentum of a tight first set win en route to a 25-23, 25-18, 25-20 triumph in a match that lasted just over 90 minutes.
Andrea Drews sparked the defending champions to victory, firing 22 points on 19 kills, two blocks, and an ace. JT Marvelous improved to 4-0 in the 2021-2022 season in Division 1.
Meanwhile, Saitama dropped to 2-2 after sweeping their first games against Okayama last week.
Santiago was shackled by JT Marvelous, as she scored just four points on three kills and a block. Usually the picture of efficiency, Santiago converted just three of her 13 attempts against JT Marvelous.
Mami Uchiseto led Saitama with 12 points.
The Ageo Medics will look to bounce back next week against the PFU BlueCats at the Komatsu General Gymnasium.
Also losing on Sunday were Bryan Bagunas and Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler, which absorbed a 25-23, 25-23, 25-22 defeat to Wolfdogs Nagoya.
Bagunas had 12 points on nine kills, two blocks, and an ace in a losing effort.
This is the third straight setback for Oita Miyoshi, which lost in four sets to Nagoya on Saturday.
They return to action next week against Toray at the Miyazaki Prefectural Gymnasium.
Filipino imports went 0-3 on Sunday after Marck Espejo and FC Tokyo suffered another five-set heartbreaker, this time to JTEKT Stings.
FC Tokyo squandered a one-set lead and wound up absorbing a 17-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-27, 11-15 setback in a two-hour, 12-minute marathon at the Panasonic Arena.
Espejo had 19 points on 18 kills and a block in the loss.
FC Tokyo has yet to win in four matches this season. Three of their losses have come in five-set matches.
Espejo and FC Tokyo play Wolfdogs Nagoya next week.