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Dindin Santiago Manabat

Dindin Santiago Manabat. PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Akari had three-time Olympian Prisilla Rivera of the Dominican Republic when it paraded its younger gamers in its debut event within the Premier Volleyball League Strengthened Convention final 12 months.

From having Mama Pris on their aspect, the Chargers will now financial institution on a brand new chief in Dindin Santiago-Manabat, who determined to get a recent begin with the younger squad forward of the 2023 PVL All-Filipino Convention.

The star wing spiker obtained used to having veteran teammates along with her former membership Chery Tiggo like Mylene Paat. However enjoying for a brand new and youthful group provides extra pleasure for ‘Mama D’ in main her teammates like Trisha Genesis, Lycha Ebon, Michelle Cobb, Jaja Maraguinot, Erika Raagas, and Dani Ravena.

“I will probably be extra of a mommy and ate [to my teammates],” mentioned Manabat in Filipino. “Genesis calls me Mama D as a result of they obtained used to calling [Pris Rivera] as their Mama Pri. So that they name me Mama D as a result of I would be the group’s new mama.”

Enjoying for a brand new group for the primary time in six years, the 29-year-old Manabat mentioned her sport stays the identical however count on her to be extra affected person in main her youthful teammates.

“Si Mama D palaban. Walang bago palaban, extra on nakasmile. Sana mabago ko yung pagsimangot siyempre maraming mga bata sa teammates ko so feeling ko extra on nakangiti ngayon si Mama D,” mentioned the multi-awarded spiker, who’s bringing her expertise from worldwide leagues when she performed in Japan V.League for the Toray Arrows in 2018 and Kurobe AquaFairies in 2019 in addition to with Nakhon Ratchasima within the Volleyball Thailand League early 2022.

[They will see the same fighter Mama D. But I’ll try my best to avoid frowning [during the game]. I’ll smile extra for my youthful teammates.]

After a number of coaching classes and signing her contract final week, the 6-foot-2 spiker already felt at house with the Chargers giving her a heat welcome and treating her like household.

“My youthful teammates are enjoyable to be with. I really feel no strain enjoying with them and I additionally be taught loads of new issues from them, particularly their expertise with Mama Pris,” Manabat mentioned. “They’re simple to get together with. They’ve loads of power even after our coaching. Our communication is there. And communication is the important thing for us [this season].”

Manabat can be reuniting with Philippine ladies’s volleyball group coach Jorge Souza de Brito after enjoying underneath him within the 2021 AVC Asian Girls’s Membership Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima.

“I nonetheless don’t know if I’ll play reverse or open. However I’m prepared for no matter place Coach Jorge needs me to play,” she mentioned.

“It’s not laborious to play underneath coach Jorge. He’s approachable and he all the time makes certain his gamers are all wholesome like ‘How are you?’ He retains on reminding us to inform him immediately after we really feel ache. He’s actually involved with regards to well being. He’s hands-on with everybody.”

Final season, the previous Nationwide College stalwart was main the way in which for the Crossovers in final 12 months’s Open Convention however she suffered an ankle damage, lacking the entire Invitationals and enjoying sparingly within the Strengthened Convention, the place she additionally entered the well being and security protocols that precipitated her to overlook some video games.

Manabat doesn’t need to gauge her restoration as she needs to let her sport do the speaking as soon as she debuts as an Akari Charger within the 2023 All-Filipino Convention, which opens on February 4.

“I don’t need to say that I’m already 100% [healthy] as a result of I need my sport to reply that query. Let’s await the season to start out and also you’ll be the choose if I’m absolutely recovered, 80 or 70 p.c,” she mentioned. “I don’t need to put strain on myself and set expectations.”

The veteran spiker is simply raring to play for her new group, which completed eighth in its first PVL event, profitable three of its eight matches final 12 months, together with Rivera’s record-setting 44 factors in opposition to Choco Mucho in 5 units and a four-set stunner that shattered F2 Logistics’ semifinal bid.

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