The Akari Chargers JUST got tougher.
Former Lady Spiker libero Justine Jazareno is officially set to join the Akari Chargers in the Premier Volleyball League.
More than a month back, rumors about Jazareno’s sudden move to the pros shocked the Philippine volleyball community.
Fans thought that the La Salle standout would complete her UAAP playing years after reclaiming the women’s crown for DLSU in UAAP Season 85.
However, Jazareno felt it was time to close the collegiate chapter of her career and continue her growth in the professional ranks, while also considering the needs of her family.
“Gusto ko pong mag-grow outside my comfort zone and additionally, kailangan na po ng tulong ng family ko financially,” said Jazareno, who was a vital cog in DLSU’s championship run.
Jazareno cleared the air on the rumors about Akari offering her a lucrative contract to leave La Salle.
“Actually, contrary to what some people are claiming na Akari offered to me kaya I’m foregoing UAAP eligibility, baliktad. Ako po talaga yung nag approach sa Akari. I wanted to be part of the team and I wanted to help my family financially na rin, especially my dad kasi nagkakasakit na siya.”
The 5-foot-5 defensive specialist chose Akari because of the team’s young guns. Jazareno looks forward to improving and winning with the Chargers core mostly composed of her former teammates (Mich Cobb and Fifi Sharma) and opponents (Jaja Maraguinot and Trisha Genesis) in the UAAP.
“Akari kasi is mga bata pa yung mga players so feel ko mas comfortable ako kung mga bata yung kasama ko, mas maggo-grow kami together,” Jazareno mentioned.
Since she started training with the Chargers, Jazareno has always felt at home.
“Sobrang naging welcoming po sila sakin. The first time I trained with the team, I felt at ease and at peace. Kahit bago ako, tinuring na nila akong pamilya kaya everyday excited ako mag training and mag laro sa PVL. I’m home,” said Jazareno.
Is there someone that she’s excited to play with?
“Faith, kasi she’s one of the best spikers so siya yung laging dinidepensahan ko before, ngayon ako na yung dedepensa para sa kanya,” the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Volleyball Rookie of the Year quickly responded with a laugh.
Then when asked about what she can provide for the team, Jazareno vowed to bring in two things that she was known for during her time as a Lady Spiker.
“Yung consistency when it comes to receiving and defense and siyempre yung leadership na kaya kong madala yung teammates ko,” replied Jazareno.
In the PVL, expect Jazareno to showcase her buwis-buhay saves to charge Akari to the next level.
“I’ll just play my game and do my best to help the team.”