Filipino athletes

Japanese ambassador congratulates Jaja Santiago for historic title

Beatrice Go
Japanese ambassador congratulates Jaja Santiago for historic title

KEY PLAYER. Jaja Santiago chips in 11 points in the cup tournament victory.

Photo courtesy of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation

Jaja Santiago receives recognition for being the first Filipino volleyball player to win an international pro league title

The Japanese ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko heaped praises on volleyball star Jaja Santiago for becoming in the first Filipino to bring home an international pro league title in the sport.

“Congrats to Ms. Jaja Santiago for her historic win with the Saitama Ageo Medics, at the Japan V Cup,” tweeted Kazuhiko on Tuesday, March 30.

“Her victory makes her the 1st Filipino volleyball player to win a professional title overseas. May she continue to soar high in Japan and bring pride to Philippines.

Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) president Ramon “Tats” Suzara also congratulated Santiago for her feat.

“On behalf of the entire leadership of PNVF, I extend my warmest and most heartfelt congratulations for your achievement,” Suzara told Santiago in a letter.

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

Playing for the Saitama Ageo Medics, Santiago propelled the team to defeat NEC Red Rockets in 4 sets, 26-24, 20-25, 25-21, 25-17, in the Japan V.League V Cup last Sunday, March 28.

Saitama swept the tournament with Santiago chipping in a total of 11 points to clinch the gold.

The 6-foot-4 spiker is set to return to Manila on Wednesday, March 31.

The Filipina stalwart and her team were able to rebound from their previous 5th place finish where they fell short of the semifinals of Japan’s top tier volleyball tournament.

Last year, Santiago was able to lead the Ageo Medics to a V. League bronze medal, making her the first Filipino volleyball player to land a podium finish in an international pro league. –

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.