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Jaja Santiago Open To Japanese Naturalization

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Filipina volleyball star Jaja Santiago is not closing her doors on naturalization offer in Japan as she dreams to step on the Olympic volleyball stage in the future.

In an interview with Volleyball DNA podcast on Sunday, the former National University Lady Bulldogs star admitted that there was indeed a naturalization offer after her impressive stint as import for Saitama Ageo Medics in the Japan V Cup.

“Kalagitnaan pa lang ng liga, gusto na nila ako mag-stay. Gusto nilang palitan yung nationality ko actually,” Santiago said. “Gusto nila ako mag-stay pa dun at tulungan palitan yung nationality ko.”

“May dream ako makapaglaro sa Olympics pero siyempre may pride pa rin naman ako bilang Pilipino,” she added. “Kung wala talagang chance, why not? Pero it’s on the back of my mind na puwede ako magpalit ng nationality.”

Japan is known for its volleyball program, with its national teams placing 7th and 9th in the latest Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) ranking for women’s and men’s, respectively.

The 25-year-old Santiago recently became the first Filipina volleybelle to capture a gold medal in international stage following Ageo Medics’ championship run in the Japan V. Cup.

It was the second medal the Tanza, Cavite-native Santiago has achieved while playing as reinforcement for the Ageo Medics after finishing with bronze last year in the same league.