August 16, 2021

Santiago-Manabat offers championship to husband, daughter

ILOCOS NORTE - Dindin Santiago-Manabat took matters into her own hands in the winner-take-all Finals Game Three to earn the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference championship for Chery Tiggo and her family.

Manabat erupted with 32 points to cap the historic Ilocos Norte bubble with an epic come-from-behind five-set victory over Creamline last Friday at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center in Bacarra.

The Cool Smashers, led by Alyssa Valdez, were two points from a 'three-peat' with the fourth set tied at 23.

The 6-foot-2 denied it with clutch attacks that forced a fifth set.

"Last game na 'to do or die so parang sakin ang iniisip ko lang all out na ibibigay ko na lahat ng meron ako, lahat ng kaya kong itulong sa team ko ilalabas ko na lahat," Manabat said.

"Alam namin na hindi lahat talaga binibigay nang madali, lahat 'yon pinaghihirapan so nung nanalo kami sa third set iniisip namin na para sa amin 'to, walang susuko and naging positibo kang kami sa mga bagay bagay."

Her resiliency fueled her younger sister, Jaja who unleashed an unstoppable fifth set performance to complete their amazing comeback and win the maiden professional title.

"Siya yung nagstep up para sa team. Pagdating sa dulo kinakapitan ko siya," said the 6-foot-5 middle blocker. "Lalong lalo na yung ate ko na: 'Ja ituloy mo lang.' Sobrang nakakaproud na naglalaro ka kasama yung kapatid mo na maghihila sayo at di ka niya ilelet down talaga."

Dindin and Jaja were in tears of joy after fulfilling their dream championship together for the Crossovers.

"Sobrang overwhelming kasi ito talaga yung pangarap namin na magsama kami sa finals kasi sobrang tagal na nung huli nung 2016 pa tapos ito na," Dindin said. "Ito na talaga yung dinadasal namin simula nung nag umpisa yung PVL na paghihirapan namin para makatungtong sa taas."

And this championship is for Dindin's husband, Chico, and daughter, Chloe.

"Sobrang saya kasi yung sakripisyo, yung hirap na malayo ka sa kanila, sobrang iba yung pakiramdam," she said. "Saya lang talaga ang nararamdaman ko kasi ito na binigay na samin siyempre lagi lang naman sinasabi ng anak ko hihintayin niya ako pag uwi and ngayon pag uwi ko worth it, sobrang saya talaga." (AL)