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Alas Pilipinas Eyes VNL and Olympic Dreams After Stellar Performance, Says Jaja Santiago

MANILA, May 27, 2024 – Jaja Santiago, a former national team volleyball star, has high hopes for Alas Pilipinas following their impressive showing at the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup. Santiago, witnessing firsthand their decisive victories, believes that this team has the potential to compete not just in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) but also at the Olympic level.

During a recent match at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Alas Pilipinas showcased their prowess by sweeping Pool A with a convincing win over Chinese Taipei, scoring 25-13, 25-21, 25-18. Santiago, observing from the sidelines, was particularly impressed by the team’s heart and determination. “We really have big potential to eventually be in the VNL or in the Olympics. With this kind of lineup, I think we can achieve that dream,” Santiago explained to reporters.

The team’s performance has already made waves in the volleyball world, with the Philippine women’s national volleyball team climbing to No. 55 in the FIVB world rankings, marking them as the eighth in Asia after their perfect run in the prelims. This is a significant leap from their previous 63rd position.

Santiago also highlighted the contributions of younger players like Angel Canino and Thea Gagate, who have shown remarkable skill and dedication in their first national appearances. “This is the youngest team, and you can really see, like Canino and Gagate, even though it’s their first time, their willingness to deliver well in the game,” she added.

Looking ahead, Alas Pilipinas is set to face a tough match against Kazakhstan in the semifinals. However, Santiago remains optimistic about their chances. “Going into the semifinals, the connection of the team will be stronger, and they will deliver really well. I think they can really be the champions here in the AVC,” she stated.

As Alas Pilipinas continues their journey on the international stage, their blend of youthful energy and seasoned leadership under Jia de Guzman may indeed pave the way for achieving their lofty ambitions.


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