Coach glad to see Alyssa Valdez, Kim Fajardo, Santiago sisters reunite for flag and country
National U's Jaja Santiago, Ateneo's Alyssa Valdez, La Salle's Kim Fajardo, and Petron's Dindin Santiago all played for the UST high school girls team. Jerome Ascano

FORMER national coach Francis Vicente is excited to see Alyssa Valdez, Santiago sisters Dindin and Jaja and Kim Fajardo finally play together after going their separate ways in college.

By the way, all are products of the vaunted University of Santo Tomas high school volleyball program who went on to carry the colors of other schools in the UAAP.

Had they stayed at the Espana campus, Vicente said a UST team featuring all four would have been a force to be reckoned with in the UAAP.

Still, he's glad to see them reunite, for flag and country.

"Walang makakatalo dyan," said Vicente, who did not think twice of his answer. "Sa collegiate level, ha? Iba 'yung sa ibang bansa eh."

"Pero 'yung dito sa atin, sa UAAP, wala siguro makakatalo," he added. "Kasi nahasa sila doon sa point na walang pwedeng tumalo sa kanila. 'Yun 'yung nakalagay sa utak nila na isa sila sa mga magagaling na players."

[See Valdez, Santiago sisters head PH pool for Asian Under-23 championship]

Valdez and Fajardo were part of the UST high school team that bagged three successive championships in the UAAP girls' volleyball tournament from 2008.

But Valdez left for Ateneo, which she has led to back-to-back UAAP women's volleyball titles, while Fajardo moved to La Salle where she was part of the Lady Spikers' championship runs in 2012 and 2013. 

After playing for UST high school, Dindin spent one year with the Tigresses and won a championship in 2010 with Angge Tabaquero, Rhea Dimaculangan and Judy Caballejo before transferring to National University. Dindin served two years of residency and suited up for the Lady Bulldogs in 2012. 

Jaja won a title with Valdez and Fajardo in 2010 before she followed elder sister Dindin to NU. She won last year's Rookie of the Year award.

The four are now part of the national roster for the Asian Under-23 championship set in Manila from May 1 to 9.

"Dream come true, siguro, at least nagkasama-sama sila sa ibang level na," Vicente told, adding that any coach would love to have such a lineup.

"Whoever the coach is okay lang 'yan as long as nagkasama-sama sila sa iisang team," he added.

The team is being handled by coaches Roger Gorayeb and Sammy Acaylar.

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