Jaja Santiago proud to hold her own against Europe's best in FIVB World Club showpiece
Jaja Santiago scored 11 points in the losing stand against Pomi Casalmaggiore. Jaime Campos

FROM a three-point debut in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, Jaja Santiago redeemed herself with a breakout game in PSL-F2 Logistics' loss to Pomi Casalmaggiore in the FIVB World Women's Club Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The 6-foot-5 National University stalwart was one of the few bright spots for the hosts in the 19-25, 15-25, 21-25 loss to the Italian club, delivering 11 points in a performance that included a kill that unfortunately hit Pomi Casalmaggiore libero Sirressi Immacolata in the face.

Santiago was quick to apologize.

“Nag-sorry ako agad, culture po natin ‘yun, nag-sorry ako agad,” she said.

[See F2 Logistics falls short anew vs Italian club, bows out of FIVB World Club contention]

The middle blocker, however, had nothing to apologize for as far as her performance is concerned, showing she has what it takes to hold her own against the more experienced European champions.

“‘Yung Pomi magaling silang team sobra, and happy kami na pinakita namin ang best namin and lumaban kami sa kanila lalong lalo na noong third set,” she said.

“Syempre nakaka-overwhelm na nalalampasan ko ang tall blockers ko and happy ako na nakakatulong ako sa teammates ko,” she added.

The 20-year old said she couldn't have played as well without the help of setter Kim Fajardo.

“Noong first game kasi nag-aadjust pa, hindi rin kami magkakapaan ni Ate Kim. Pero ‘yun nga noong nag-training kami kahapon tsaka kanina, pinractice talaga namin ‘yung play para magkaroon kami ng connection,” said Santiago.

“Pag nabibigyan ka ng magandang set, nagkakakumpyansa ka. Siguro nagtuluy-tuloy na lang talaga siya,” she added.

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