Jaja Santiago quietly left for Japan on Wednesday afternoon where she will suit up for Ageo Medics in the 2021-22 Japan V.League for the fourth straight season.

/ 2 September 2021

After steering Chery Tiggo to a historic Premier Volleyball League title last month, the Conference and Finals MVP will be playing again in Japan’s premier league which will run from October 15 until April next year.

In a video posted by her Chery Tiggo teammate and partner Maika Ortiz posted a video of the 25-year-old stalwart entering Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

Ingat ka lagi sa Japan and galingan mo lagi. See you next year,” Ortiz wrote in the video at the airport moments before Santiago’s departure. 

However, Santiago’s departure is bittersweet for Philippine volleyball as she will surely miss the 2021 AVC Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship scheduled for next month in Thailand where the Philippines is fielding in two teams.

The 6-foot-5 middle blocker bared that her ultimate goal is to win a Japan V.League title this year after they ruled the V. Cup last March that made her the first Filipino volleyball player to win a title in an international tourney. 

“Our goal is to win the V.League title,” said Santiago, whose team finished fifth in the previous season.

Meanwhile, Bryan Bagunas was also expected to leave for Japan on Wednesday afternoon to rejoin Oita Miyoshi for his third season, as per Philippine men’s national team coach Dante Alinsunurin

While, Marck Espejo awaits his departure confirmation date, which will also see action in the Japan V.League after three years with his new club, FC Tokyo. 

With that, both standouts will also miss the 2021 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship slated on October 8 to 15 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.