Jaja Santiago emerges a star in her own right but still longs for presence of Ate Dindin
Jaja Santiago comes up with the huge play in the endgame for PLDT. Dante Peralta

JAJA Santiago wound up the winner over Dindin in their first-ever tournament as rivals, but while it marks her emergence as a star in her own right she still longs for the presence of her elder sister beside her.

The head-to-head record for the conference was 3-1 and the 19-year-old Jaja ended up with the championship trophy with PLDT and was handed the finals MVP award.

“Siyempre nalungkot din kasi magkaiba kami ng team,” said Jaja teammates with Dindin at National University for several years.

[See PLDT survives five-set thriller against Army to claim V-League Open Conference title]

Jaja scored 17 points in the final match and had an average of 16 in the three-match series.

She feels all the hard work paid off for the Ultra Fast Hitters, who beat an experienced Lady Troopers side by winning the final two matches.

“Sobrang hirap kasi sobrang lakas nila. Alam namin na pinaghirapan namin kaya masaya kami sa nangyari,” said Jaja.

[See Entire Santiago family stays neutral as Jaja gets the better of Ate Dindin]

Jaja said they were not intimidated by the experience of the Philippine Army that has Jovelyn Gonzaga, Tina Salak, and Rachel Anne Daquis leading the way for the Lady Troopers.

“Hindi namin kailangang ma-intimidate. Kailangang i-prove mo sa sarili mo ‘yung dapat mong ilaro para magawa mo ‘yung dapat gawin,” said Jaja. 

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