NATIONAL team head coach Shaq Delos Santos said that they have yet to talk to sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat regarding their participation with the Philippine squad that will see action in three international tournaments this year.
“Wala pa kaming usap pero ayaw namin silang istorbohin dahil ongoing yung liga nila,” said Delos Santos, who conducted the two-day tryouts for the pool expansion with his assistant coaches Kung Fu Reyes and Brian Esquibel at the Arellano School of Law Gym in Taft Ave.
Jaja and Dindin, who were among the Filipinas who campaigned in last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta and AVC Cup in Thailand, are still in Japan playing as imports in separate clubs in the prestigious V Premier League Women.
The Santiago sisters might be still overseas until May as Dindin’s Toray Arrows are currently fourth in the standings with an 8-5 win-loss record, while Jaja and Ageo Medics run fifth with 8-7 slate.
The Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. will join the AVC Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship in China on April 20-28, 20th Asian Senior Women's Championship in South Korea from August 31 to September 8 and the 30th Southeast Asian Games to be held in the Philippines from November 30 to December 10.
Delos Santos said that the experience of the Santiago sisters — Jaja showing her full potential, while Dindin although a bench player — will be a big boost for the national team.
“Ang ganda rin ng performance nila so para sa amin, hinahayaan muna namin sila matapos,” the national team coach said.
The three-time Philippine Superliga champion coach of Petron said that he hopes that by May, they will be able to talk to the sisters although the goal for the Jaja and Dindin is to add them in the SEA Games.
“By May tapos na league nila. Pagbalik nila, tsaka paguusapan. Ang goal naman sa SEA Games sila makalaro,” Delos Santos sai.