JAJA Santiago welcomed the challenge in moving from middle blocker to opposite spiker as Foton continued to dominate the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix.
The 6-foot-5 stalwart, who was converted to another position the night before the match, played like a natural opposite spiker and finished with 19 points, from 12 kills, two blocks and five of the team’s nine service aces, in the Tornadoes’ win over Petron, 25-18, 23-25, 25-14, 19-25, 15-13, on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.
In the All-Filipino conference, Santiago was also converted as outside hitter in preparation for the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship last September.
“Yes naman (I’m up for the challenge) kasi new learning ‘yun para sayo and isa rin ‘yun na makikita mo kung capable ba ako sa position na ‘yun,” said Santiago. “Marami kang matututunang position. hindi lang nag-stick ako sa middle.”
“Kagabi sinabi niya (coach Moro Branislav) sa akin na tapos na ‘yung career mo sa middle. Sabi ko nga, 'ano coach magiging setter na ba ako?'" she added with a laugh. "Sabi niya utility daw ako so ni-ready ko na ang sarili ko. Tinanong niya nga ako kung kay sasabihin daw ba ako, kung hindi ko ba kaya. Sabi ko, no, coach, ok lang ako tatanggapin ko ‘yun.”
The National University star shared that there was no major adjustment in her part in playing opposite spiker and that she’s more than willing to try and learn new things.
“In-accept ko lang kasi and nag-trust ako sa binigay sa akin na posisyon ni coach Moro, so wala naman sa akin malaking adjustment na nahirapan ako,” she said.
Santiago, who was earlier announced to miss the game against Petron, will leave the country on Thursday for a 12-day training camp in Japan with NU.