Dindin on Jaja Santiago absence
"Hindi naman kami magpapabaya and hindi naman kami lagi umaasa kay Jaja,"she said.
This will be the second straight conference that the Crossovers won't have the services of the two-time Japan V.League Best Blocker owing to her obligations with Ageo Medics.
But to Santiago-Manabat, Chery Tiggo's failed title-retention bid in the past Open Conference only serves as a motivation for the squad for this midseason tourney.
"Alam naman natin kung saan kami napunta last season so pinagtatrabahuhan at step by step namin gagawin para makapagperform nang maganda this season," the 6-foot-2 middle blocker said.
"[Sana] mabigyan namin ng magandang game or every liga is makapag-perform nang maganda ang Chery at mailabas namin yung bagong program ng new coach namin."
Mapua coach Clarence Esteban takes over the head coaching duties for the Crossovers as he replaces Aaron Velez at the helm.
The jury is still out in whether the shift could net better results for Chery Tiggo, yet Santiago-Manabat could only promise the team's continued development ahead of its first day match against Choco Mucho come opening day.
"Yung sa amin lang, iniimprove lang namin yung skills ng mga players ng Chery Tiggo. Sana magkaron kami nang magandang laban ngayong tournament na to," said Santiago-Manabat, who will once again team up with Mylene Paat in leading the Crossovers in this run. Jillian Velasco
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