While the Ageo Medics volleyball club is having a roller-coaster ride in the Japanese V.League Division 1 2018-19 season so far, Jaja Santiago is proving that she belongs with the best players in Japan and the world.
After nine games with the Medics, the former NU Lady Bulldog is second in attack percentage with a 51.8 percent success rate or 71 attack points out of 137 tries. Leading the league is Sinead Jack of the Denso Airybees with 101 conversions in 190 attempts for a 53.2 percent attack rate. At third spot is Santiago’s teammate Katarina “Keti” Barun with a 46.9 percent spike rate.
The UAAP Season 80 Most Valuable Player is also tied for third in total service aces (11) with Barun and Toyota Auto Body Queenseis’ middle blocker Aya Watanabe. Leading the tournament in service aces is Hitachi Rivale middle blocker Mai Irisawa with 14 and at second is Toray Arrows outside hitter and Japanese national team member Ai Kurogo with 12.
The 6′ 5″ Santiago is also sixth in service efficiency with a 13 percent success rate out of 117 total attempts. Kurogo is at pole position at 16.8 percent while at second is Yuki Ishii of the Hisamitsu Springs at 13.9 percent. Irisawa rounds the top three at 13.8 percent.
The former Foton Tornadoes stand-out is tied for 25th in total points (96) with PFU BlueCats outside hitter and Thailand national team player Chachu-on Moksri. Meanwhile, Santiago’s 16 kill blocks are good for a deuce at 16th place with NEC Red Rockets’ Sarina Koga.
Santiago and the Medics will carry a 4-5 record coming into the season’s Christmas break. They are currently in fourth spot of the Eastern Conference behind the NEC Red Rockets, Denso Airybees, and the Hitachi Rivale respectively. They will return to action on January 5 at 12 NN Philippine time against the Toray Arrows which features Kurogo, Mari Horikawa, Jana Kulan, and older sister Dindin Santiago-Manabat.