July 22, 2024

From Mama Pris to Mama Dindin: Young Akari squad gets new guiding figure

From Mama Pris to Mama Dindin: Young Akari squad gets new guiding figure

There's no shortage of mother figures for the young Akari Chargers.

There's Mozzy Ravena, their team manager and literally the mother of libero Dani Ravena. There's Prisilla Rivera, fondly called "Mama Pris", their Dominican Republic import during the 2022 Reinforced Conference and a powerhouse Olympian who set a new PVL scoring record of 44 points.

And now, there's Dindin Santiago-Manabata mother to her daughter Chloe and a self-professed "Mama Dindin" to the Chargers.

"As a Mama Dindin lang ngayon, siguro matutulungan ko sila na maging positive sa loob ng court and kung paano lalaban," she told One Sports on Monday. "Lahat naman nagkaka-error, so 'yung [paano] makabalik agad."

Akari, which finished eighth out of nine squads in the Reinforced Conference, will be needing the skills and experience of the 29-year-old wing spiker/middle blocker, who has played for champion teams like Petron and Chery Tiggo and even as an import for Thai squad Nakhon Ratchasima.

It was also a lot of care and appreciation which prompted Santiago-Manabat, who bid goodbye to six years with Chery Tiggo in December, to sign up with Akari.

"Si Akari kasi, very effort sila and sobra 'yung appreciation nila. Para talagang 'yun lang ding hinahanap, nandoon," Santiago-Manabat admitted. "Siyempre, si Tita Mozzy, sobrang iba 'yung dating niya sa akin na parang very mommy siya, andami niyang pwedeng mai-advise sa akin and 'yung pagiging sweet niya."

A welcome shot to bounce back is also what Dindin wants after an admittedly not-so-strong performance in her previous season with the Crossovers.

"Kasi half a year last year nawala talaga 'yung 'Mommy' Dindin Santiago-Manabat. Hindi talaga nakapag-perform ng maganda. Andaming injures, ang daming pinagdaanan," she shared. "Ngayon, [ang expectation is] to come back stronger and matulungan 'yung team."

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