V.League: Jaja Santiago, Saitama stun League-leading Toray

Zaza Santiago with Saitama Agio Medics in Japan V League.

Zaza Santiago with Saitama Agio Medics in Japan V League. Saitam picture

MANILA, Philippines – Zaza Santiago beat Kyoto by 12 points, beating Saitama Torre 22-25, 25-16, 25-15, 19-25, 15-12 in the Japan V League Women’s Division 1 on Wednesday at the Yokohama Sports Park Gymnasium in Kyoto.

Santiago has drilled eight of his 16 spike attempts and nailed four blocks to help AGO Medix score another upset against league leaders.

Brazilian Lauren Teixeira led Saitama with 22 points from 19 attacks, two blocks and an ace. Mami Uchiseto also played a key role with 21 markers, with Kyoko Ayagi and Aki Meguro adding 11 markers.

Saitama climbed to fifth place with a record 18-13 win after repeating a five-set win against Torrey last February.

The arrows are still at the top, down to 25-7.

Jana Kulan’s 29-point blast failed. Mayu Ishikawa and Yoshino Nishikawa were 18 and 12 markers, respectively.

Santiago & Co. will play the last two matches of the season against Himeji this weekend.

Meanwhile, Mark Espazo scored 12 points but FC Tokyo absorbed the Sakai Blazers 22-25, 19-25, 25-21, 20-25 in the men’s division at the Nippon Steel Gymnasium.

Espejo, who has fought and played limited minutes in past games, played efficiently, hitting nine of his 13 attacking attempts and had three blocks but Tokyo still trailed 9-25 in eighth place.

Sharon Vernon Evans and Nawa Takano led the Blazers in a balanced attack with 16 points. Yoshihiko Matsumoto contributed 13 markers, while Yuki Higuchi added 12 to help his team improve to 24-10, tying third-placed Panasonic Panthers.

Espejo and Tokyo will end their season against Jetty Hiroshima over the weekend.

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