Santiago said the Thais’ offer is good, but she still has some unfinished businesses with Foton in the Philippine Superliga and National University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, prompting her to just simply let it go.
Probably the strongest team in the Thailand Volleyball League, Bangkok Glass gave Santiago an irresistible offer of $4,000, or roughly P200,000, monthly salary for six months aside from free accommodation in the Thai capital of Bangkok.
In an e-mail to PSL president Ramon Suzara, the Thais want her to come up with an answer by Saturday so she can be included in the O-2 Form and join the team that already has national team members Pornpun Guedpard, Sutadta Chuewulim and national team captain Pleumjit Thinkaow in its roster.
Santiago said if she will have it her way, she would grab it in a heartbeat.
But she’s bound to honor her prior commitment and stand by her word of leading the Tornadoes to the PSL crown and the Lady Bulldogs to a title finish while finishing her studies.
“If I will only think about myself, it’s definitely a yes! I will grab the opportunity for me to represent our country in an international league.”
“But I also have to prioritize things. First, I wanted to finish my studies and I’m already expecting it this year. This is the only gift na kahit sino man hindi pwedeng makuha sa akin.”
“Second, I’m a person who honors my commitments. Yes, for sure, my school, NU, and club team, Foton, will support me in every decision na gagawin ko, but I already made decisions ahead of time and I just can’t leave everyone hanging because of a sudden offer.”
“I hope everybody understands.”
The PSL was elated over the idea that a topnotch Thai club in Bangkok Glass is strongly considering one of its players.
Suzara, the PSL president and chairman of the powerful marketing and development committee in the Asian Volleyball Confederation, said the league is solidly behind Santiago as she embarks on a new journey that would greatly benefit the country.
He said he was even encouraging Santiago to grab the offer and make the country proud.
But this is not yet the perfect time.
“Seeing Jaja play for a prestigious Thai team such as Bangkok Glass will be a very proud moment for the PSL and the country’s volleyball program.”
“But I think it is not yet the right time as she still has to attend to her prior commitments. It’s okay. I’m sure Jaja will take it as a challenge to work hard and earn a similar invite in the future.”
Suzara said even Foton team owner Rommel Sytin was glad that his top player is strongly being considered.
“Mr. Sytin called me up last night; he was so happy.”
“He said there’s no problem with Foton and they won’t stand in the way of Jaja’s development as a volleyball player. However, he’s not sure about NU because she’s still studying and had already committed to play her final year in the UAAP.”
True enough, there are only three answers to every question – yes, no and yes but not now.
In Santiago’s case, the answer is the third.
But it’s okay.
Maybe God has better plans for her.