More Filipino volleyball players will play overseas–Suzara

Jaja Santiago Volleyball Japan

Saitama’s Jaja Santiago. AGEO MEDICS PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) president Ramon “Tats” Suzara thinks the more Filipinos play overseas, the better for the country’s volleyball program.

Three Filipino volleyball stars in Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas and Jaja Santiago are signed in the Japan V.League. Santiago left for Japan earlier this month for her fourth straight season with Ageo Medics.

In the past, Alyssa Valdez also had stints in Thailand and Taiwan.

Suzara expects that number to rise given the slew of talented Filipino spikers.

“I think maybe in the next two years we could have more players playing in other countries,” said Suzara Tuesday in the PSA Forum.

“I’m very optimistic that there will be more opportunities for players, especially now that we really have tall players,” he added. “Maybe in two years time, honing their skills and to prepare them for the next two years are big factors.”

Such has been the case in basketball now with several Filipino cagers taking their acts in the Japan B.League.

Thirdy Ravena was the first Filipino to play in the Japanese league after he inked a deal with the San-en NeoPhoenix.

His older brother Kiefer then followed suit when he signed with the Shiga Lakestars earlier this year.

Others standouts like the Gomez de Liaño siblings, Ray Parks, Kobe Paras and most recently Gilas Pilipinas’ Dwight Ramos have also taken the same path.

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