JAJA Santiago will play for National University if ever there will be conflict in schedule between the Shakey's V-League Collegiate Conference and the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship.
The 6-foot-5 middle blocker faces a fixture problem after NU advanced to the semifinals of the V-League, which coincides with Foton's campaign in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship set from September 3-11.
Although the playdates have yet to set, the distance between the two venues may make it hard for the volleyball star to play in both tournaments.
The V-League will be played at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City while the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship will be staged at Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.
Jaja, at least, knows her priority.
“Syempre NU kasi alma mater and sila talaga ang priority ko eh,” said Santiago after NU defeated University of the Philippines, 23-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-19, on Monday to complete a sweep of the V-League quarterfinals.
“(Pero) kung ‘di naman magko-conflict, doon (AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship) ako maglalaro. Kung may conflict man, dito (V-League) ako,” she added.
“Kung kaya naman ng oras, malay natin magawan ng paraan. Mag-helicopter ako papunta doon,” she added in jest.
But Santiago admitted that she hasn’t informed Foton management about her decision yet. The team will arrive later today from Thailand after its stint in the Sealect Tuna Thailand Volleyball League.
“Wala pa (‘di pa ako nakakapagpaalam) kasi ‘di pa naman sila (Foton) nakakauwi dito. Ngayon yata yung dating nila. Siguro kung may conflict man, tingnan natin kung ano ang mangyayari, pero syempre kailangan ko muna i-prioritize yung National University kasi nasa semifinals na rin,” said Santiago.
“Focus muna ako sa kanila (NU) at kung magkaroon ng conflict, doon namin gagawan ng paraan at sosolusyunan kung ano ang gagawin,” she added.
Santiago missed out on the Thailand tournament, where her teammates in Foton finished sixth, due to her midterm exams but she is set to rejoin practice as soon as the Tornadoes get back in the gym in preparation for the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship.
“Bukas may training kami (sa Foton). Kailangan, kasi September 3 ang start ng AVC kaya kailangan ko rin humabol sa kanila kasi marami na akong na-miss na training sa kanila,” she said.
The 20-year old volleybelle will team up with American reinforcements Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher along with Foton teammates Angeli Araneta, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, Sisi Rondina, EJ Laure, Aby Marano of F2 Logistics, Jen Reyes of Petron and Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola Army.