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Jaja Santiago, Ageo Medics bows to Airybees in Japan V.League

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Jaja Santiago had a solid outing but Saitama Ageo Medics suffered a 26-24, 25-23, 23-25, 18-25, 15-11 defeat to Denso Airybees in the 2021-22 Japan V.League Division 1 women’s tournament on Sunday at the KitaGas Arena in Sapporo.

The former National University Lady Bulldogs star tallied 23 points, on 18 attacks, four blocks, and a service ace, as the Ageo Medics saw its winning run snapped to drop to 5-5 win-loss slate.

After both teams split the first four sets, the Airybees raced to a 9-4 start in the fifth set behind conversions from Fumika Moriya, Yuki Hyodo, Mami Yokota, Rei Kudou, and Roslandy Acosta.

Santiago carried the cudgels for the Ageo Medics as they trimmed the deficit to 9-11 but the Airybees relied on clutch conversions from Hyodo and Kudou to avoid the collapse of Denso.

Leading the balanced scoring for the Airybees (7-3) was Hyodo with 20 points, all from attacks, while Acosta and Yokota chimed in 19 points each with the latter guarding the net well with six block kills.

Aside from Santiago, Mami Uchiseto tallied 15 points while Shuri Yamaguchi and Kyoko Aoyagi also hit double-digits in scoring as they chalked up 11 points apiece for the Ageo Medics.