JAJA Santiago faces schedule problems with her return to the Japan league coinciding with the Southeast Asian Games later this year.
Back from a stint with Ageo Medics in the Japan V. Premier League, Santiago says she will be able to see action for Foton in June during the the early part of the Super Liga’s All-Filipino Conference but will need to rejoin her Saitama-based club in August.
The V. Premier League season fires off on October, while the SEA Games will be held November 28 to December 10.
“Tingin ko makakalaro ako sa All-Filipino, pero di lang natin alam sa latter part,” said Santiago on Thursday night after Foton’s four-set loss to F2 Logistics in the sudden-death quarterfinals.
She has ruled out seeing action in the PSL Invitational later this year, but could not give a definite answer regarding the stint with the Philippine women’s national team.
“Di makakalaro sa (PSL) Invitational,” she said.
“Sa National Team, gusto kong maglaro. Siyempre Sino bang hindi gusto i-represent 'yung country, 'di ba?” the former National University star said.
Pero, kasi meron pa rin akong problema kasi October 'yung start ng season sa Japan. 'Yung SEA Games is December. If ma-lineup ako, magkakaroon talaga ng problema.”
Still, she hopes the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. could work out the scheduling issue with Ageo Medics.
“Siguro, 'yung federation na lang natin and yung Ageo ang mag-usap doon. 'Yung Ageo kasi, 'yung season nila is for international lahat naman talaga sumusunod (sa FIVB calendar),” Santiago said. “Ang gusto ng coach ko, mag-focus ako sa kanila kasi iniisip din nilabaka pag naglaro ako sa National Team, baguhin 'yung position ko.”
“On-going din kasi 'yung season doon, baka mabago nanaman at mahirapan nanaman ako mag-adjust,” she added. “Pagdating ko noong first season ko sa kanila, nahirapan talaga ako bumalik sa pagiging middle.“