If not for the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Dindin Manabat could be playing elsewhere.
Manabat, the 6-foot-2 middle blocker of Chery Tiggo in the Philippine Superliga (PSL), admitted that a lot of international offers were thrown her way following a strong performance with Kurobe AquaFairies in the V.Premier League in Japan.
She refused to delve into details, but stressed that the offers were so tempting that she could have easily inked a deal if not for the pandemic that is gripping the world.
“Yes, I have been receiving offers from two countries, but I can’t disclose it until everything has been finalized,” Manabat told Daily Tribune in a telephone conversation.
“But one thing is sure: It’s not in Japan.”
The 26-year-old blocker is no longer new in the international arena.
After winning three titles in the PSL, she flew to Japan in 2018 to join Toray Arrows while her younger sister, Jaja Santiago, campaigns for Ageo Medics.
She moved to Kurobe the following year, but failed to land a podium finish.
Still, those setbacks made her stronger.
“I was thankful for those opportunities because it really gave me the chance to improve myself,” she said, adding that her door is now open for other offers, not just to earn, but to improve her craft for the national team assignment as well.
In fact, she’s very much willing to convert to opposite spiker should she formally strike a deal with a new team.
“The first time I played in Japan, I heard a lot of comments that I only accepted the offer because of money,” Manabat, who is married to former National University basketball star Chico Manabat, said.
“Now, I want to prove that I am not doing anything for money. I want to learn new things. I am doing this for the country as well.”