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    Right off the bat, Japanese coach has an advice to make Jaja Santiago a better spiker

    Sep 21, 2016
    PSL coach Shun Takahashi observes Jaja Santiago in practice. Mei-Lin Lozada

    ON his third day of practice with the team, PSL Manila coach Shun Takahashi has one observation that his team needs to address with less than a month before the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship on October 18-23.

    Speaking in halting English, the Japanese mentor said that the team — composed of Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rachel Anne Daquis, Kim Fajardo, Jaja Santiago, Jen Reyes, Ces Molina and Mika Reyes joined by American import Lindsay Stalzer and Japanese libero Yuri Fukuda — has to be more disciplined and more precise especially on defense.

    “We need more practice in defense and we need more drills in movement,” said Takahashi on Wednesday morning.

    Aside from working on the basic sets, the 26-year old coach focused on the offense, monitoring Fajardo, Santiago and Reyes during a spiking drill. He would give instructions from the sideline and when his wards couldn't do as they were told, he will just give a ‘thumbs up’ sign saying that they should just continue.

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    Takahashi also specifically pointed to how the 6-foot-5 Santiago can be more effective on her post.

    “She spikes near the net, she has to go farther from the net (when hitting the ball) and (the sets) should be higher,” said Takahashi, an assistant coach in Japan's highly successful national team.

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    The team is expected to be be at full strength in training within the week as five other imports are set to arrive.

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    PSL coach Shun Takahashi observes Jaja Santiago in practice. Mei-Lin Lozada
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