By NIKOLE JAVIER
Jaja Santiago won’t be seeing action for the Philippines in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia this May as she moves forward with her Japanese citizenship.
The status of Santiago’s commitment was revealed by Philippine women’s national team head tactician Jorge Souza de Brito during the PVL All-Filipino press briefing on Saturday, Jan. 28.
In one of FIVB’s rulings of change of Federation of Origin, a player may do so if one has “established residence in the country of her new Federation of Origin for a minimum of two continuous years, the player has obtained the nationality of the country of the new Federation, and the player's old and new Federation agrees to the change."
The star middle blocker, who suits up for the Saitama Aego Medics in V.League got engaged to Japanese coach Taka Minowa.
The 27-year-old veteran spiker has been looking ready to establish her personal life and career in Japan after signing with the team in 2018.
Santiago last played in the Philippines during the 31st SEA Games in 2022 where the country missed out on the podium at fourth place.
The 6-foot-4 blocker also had her last game with the Chery Tiggo Crossovers in 2021 after steering them to the championship in the PVL Open Conference.