Dindin Santiago-Manabat joins Akari for new PVL season

Dindin Manabat celebrates a Chery Tiggo point.

FILE–Dindin Santiago Manabat is the newest member of Akari.—PHOTO CONTRIBUTION

MANILA, Philippines – Dindin Santiago-Manabat has found his new home, joining the young Akari team for the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season, which begins in February with the Open Conference.

Sources told Inquirer Sports that the opposition star has signed on with the Chargers, who will introduce her soon.

Akari has recruited the free agency’s most sought-after player out of the off-season as Manabat, 29, is expected to share her attacking prowess and experience with the youth team who have joined. PVL in the Augmentation Conference 2022.

Manabat parted ways with Chery Tiggo after six years with the franchise on December 29 of last year, saying she is also pursuing a chance to play abroad againespecially in Korea.

The 6-foot-2 winger was leading for the Crossovers in last year’s Open Conference but she injured her ankle and missed the entire Invitationals. She also played little in the Augmentation Conference, where she also took part in health and safety procedures that caused her to miss several games.

Dindin Santiago Manabat

Dindin Santiago Manabat in the 2021 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship. –PHOTO CONTRIBUTION

Manabat, a former National University stalwart player, has won two titles with the franchise, helping Foton Tornadoes dominate the 2016 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix and joining her sister, Jaja Santiago, in the lead. Crossovers won the championship. the first PVL professional championship in history in a 5-set victory over Creamline Cool Smashers in Game 3 win-lose in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte in 2021.

Manabat will reunite with Philippines women’s volleyball coach Jorge Souza de Brito after competing under him at the 2021 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima.

The multi-award winning tennis player is also bringing experience from international tournaments as she played in the Japanese V.League for Toray Arrows in 2018 and Kurobe AquaFairies in 2019. She has also witnessed the action with Nakhon Ratchasima in the Thai Volleyball League, partnering with Mylene Paat in early 2022.

Akari’s young core includes Trisha Genesis, Erika Raagas, Lycha Ebon, Michelle Cobb, Jaja Maraguinot and Dani Ravena as well as veteran tennis player Janine Marciano.

Besides Manabat, the Charger also signed Camille VictoriaPetro Gazz wins libero Pineda State, and seasoned smasher Eli Soyud from PDT.

Akari finished eighth in her first PVL tournament at the Reinforced Conference, winning three of her eight games, including Dominican import Pris Rivera setting a record 44 points ahead of Choco Mucho in five sets and one A four-set stun broke F2 Logistics’ semi-final bid.

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