By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Premier Volleyball League’s (PVL) newest team Akari Power Chargers officially began its off-season moves after signing former national team outside hitter Dindin Santiago-Manabat last January 13, 2023.
The veteran spiker finally found her new home after announcing her departure from the Chery Tiggo Pro Crossovers a month ago via a lengthy message on her official Facebook account.
Akari then officially welcomed the seasoned player after posting her picture with their uniform on their social media pages.
“Welcome to a new era. Leadership, intensity, and top notch skills. All of these we can expect from the newest member of the Akari fam! Let’s welcome Dindin Santiago-Manabat into the fold! LET’S GO!” posted Akari on their Twitter account.
With Santiago-Manabat finally on board in her debut season with the newly-formed Akari squad, the franchise will be expecting not only her offensive prowess but also her veteran leadership on and off the court.
Manabat had a great run with the Pro Crossovers during the past six years but her severe ankle injury last conference kept her out of the playing court.
The six-foot-two hitter was instrumental to Chery Tiggo’s historic 2021 PVL bubble championship title where they outdueled Alyssa Valdez and the Creamline Cool Smashers.
Dindin built a formidable duo with her sister Jaja during that championship campaign held in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
Her arrival in Akari will also mark a reunion with national team head coach Jorge Souza de Brito after their brief stint together during the 2021 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship.
The legendary Brazilian volleyball tactician became Santiago-Manabat’s mentor during the international tournament but failed to qualify in the playoffs after one week of eliminations.
Santiago-Manabat will look to lead the young Akari team composed of Dani Ravena, Jhoana & Jaja Maraguinot, Michelle Cobb, and Lycha Ebon.