JAJA Santiago shone under the spotlight as National University recovered from a set down to beat University of the Philippines, 18-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-23, at the start of the Shakey's V-League Season 11 Open Conference on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
With Dindin Santiago now with Petron in the Philippine Super Liga, NU is left with half of last year’s twin towers. But the young Jaja did not disappoint and delivered 21 points in helping the Lady Bulldogs recover from an early slip.
Myla Pablo scored 14, while team captain Desiree Dadang and rookie Jorelle Singh had 10 each for the Lady Bulldogs.
But while coach Ariel de la Cruz was pleased to see Jaja Santiago deliver big numbers, he noted that everyone contributed and played their roles as expected.
“Lahat naman nag-contribute lahat ng pinasok ko gumawa, si (Rizza) Mandapat naka-nine points tapos si (Ivy) Perez naka-eight, si Dadang ’yung bago naming team captain tahimik lang siya pero nadadala niya
ang mga players sa loob, so maayos ang takbo ng team,” he said.
Despite losing the first set and giving away 31 points through errors, NU had a slight edge at the net with 11 blocks against nine of UP and was a whisker ahead in service aces (7-6).
UAAP Best Blocker Kathy Bersola registered 17 points for UP, while skipper Nicole Tiamzon added 14.