VOLLEYBALL star Jaja Santiago was congratulated by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation, Inc. (PNVFI) for the integral part she played in her team’s conquest of the Japanese V.Cup title at the weekend.

Ms. Santiago, 25, became the first Filipino to win a volleyball title outside of the Philippines, helping Saitama Ageo Medics to the championship.

“On behalf of the entire leadership of PNVF, I extend my warmest and most heartfelt congratulations for your achievement,” said PNVFI President Ramon Suzara in a congratulatory message to Ms. Santiago.

Adding, “Let this be an important milestone that will bring even much more to your already outstanding career.”

One of the country’s top volleyball talents, Ms. Santiago was tapped by Ageo Medics in the 2019-20 season as an import in its campaign in the top-tier Japanese league.

Ms. Santiago and Saitama beat NEC (26-24, 20-25, 25-21, 25-17) in the gold medal match on Sunday at the Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo.

The Filipino player chalked up 11 points on nine spikes and two blocks.

Her play complemented well those of her teammates Yuka Sato and Shainah Joseph, who finished with 15 and 14 points, respectively, to help tow their team to the title.

The team’s showing was an improvement from its bronze medal finish in the 2020 V.League.

Ms. Santiago is due back in the country this week and is set to turn her focus on the Premier Volleyball League where her Chery Tiggo team will make their professional debut.

A former University Athletic Association of the Philippines most valuable player with National University, Ms. Santiago played for and won club championships with PLDT Home Ultera and Foton in the Philippine volleyball circuit. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo