international volleyball

Santiago leads Saitama stunner over NEC as Espejo stays at edge of Tokyo rotation
Santiago leads Saitama stunner over NEC as Espejo stays at edge of Tokyo rotation

SAITAMA STUNNER. Jaja Santiago leads Saitama's spirited win over the higher-ranked NEC Red Rockets.

Saitama Ageo Medics Twitter page

Bryan Bagunas tallies a 16-point outing over at the men's division for the freefalling Oita Miyoshi as Marck Espejo makes nothing out of a brief appearance for Tokyo

MANILA, Philippines – Jaja Santiago and the Saitama Ageo Medics got back in the winning column as they stunned the NEC Red Rockets in four sets, 25-21, 25-22, 20-25, 25-17, in the Japan V. League on Sunday, March 13.

Coming off a 7-point outing in a Saturday, March 12 loss against Hisamitsu, Filipina import Santiago bounced back in emphatic fashion with 21 points off 16 attacks and a game-high 5 blocks in the upset of the third-seeded Rockets. 

Brazilian hitter Lorenne Teixeira chipped in 19 points off 16 attacks, 2 blocks, and an ace while local spikers Yuka Sato and Mami Uchiseto contributed 14 and 13 points respectively.

Saitama improved to a 16-10 slate and kept the sixth spot in the 10-team field, while NEC fell to a 19-8 record. The Ageo Medics will try to continue their giant-killer streak against the top-ranked JT Marvelous on March 19, 11 am, Manila time.

Over at the men’s division, Bryan Bagunas and the Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler lost to the JT Thunders Hiroshima in a second sweep in as many days, 22-25, 23-25, 21-25.

Philippine team star blocker Bagunas did what he could, and finished with 16 points off 15 attacks and a block. Venezuelan import Emerson Rodriguez chipped in 10 points from 9 attacks and an ace.

This is Oita’s 24th loss in 29 games as it remains nailed at the ninth spot in the standings. The Weisse Adler will next face the fourth-seeded Panasonic Panthers on March 19, 1 pm.

Finally, Marck Espejo and FC Tokyo endured another loss to the top-ranked Toray Arrows in four sets, 25-17, 27-29, 20-25, 27-29.

The Philippine team outside hitter went scoreless and only appeared in the fourth set. Norwegian import Jonas Kvalen led Tokyo with a 25-point outing off 22 attacks, 2 blocks, and an ace.

Local hitters Yanagimachi Itta and Kuroda Yato chipped in 18 and 13 points respectively.

Tokyo is now 8-19 for the season, still at the eighth seed. It will look to break its three-game losing streak against the cellar-dwelling VC Nagano Tridents on March 19, 1 pm, Manila time. – Joaquin Quesada/

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