Akari is bringing in another top-caliber college recruit after signing libero Justine Jazareno to further solidify its floor defense ahead of the coming Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference next month.
The Chargers formally announced the addition of the former De La Salle University defensive specialist on Thursday.
Magenta and Black JUST got tougher 😤
La Salle's sensational libero Justine Jazareno takes her talents to the Akari Chargers! 🦄
Buwis-buhay saves and dives? Jus got us covered 😌
Welcome to the team, #15! #AkariRecharged ⚡💖🦄
Raw photo from Flavius Dulce of DLSU Sports pic.twitter.com/SwbOQdldny
— Akari Chargers (@AkariChargers) September 21, 2023
Jazareno, who helped the Lady Spikers capture the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 women’s title at the expense of dethroned National University, decided to turn pro after just two full seasons with La Salle.
“Of course, it was really hard for me to decide knowing the fact that the La Sallian community has been my family for a long time. I’m with La Salle all the way to college,” Jazareno said.
The libero added that her decision to turn pro despite having at least two more eligibility seasons is because of her desire to help her family.
“Actually, it took me months to figure out what I need for myself and to help my family, plus it’s an eye opener that this might be the opportunity to go out of my comfort zone,” she added. “I can say that I really took time to think about it and weighed in my priorities to help me come up with this decision”.
Jazareno will reunite with La Salle teammate Fifi Sharma, who also opted to forgo her playing eligibility.
Her arrival also complements the scoring arsenal of Akari led by veterans Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Faith Nisperos as well as a solid support for seasoned libero Bang Pineda.
“I’m super excited to be a part of the Akari Chargers. And I am looking forward to more bonding and learning from the team,” Jazareno said.
“In my first training with them, I admit to feeling anxious and but I think it’s normal being in a new team, but at the same time excited because the environment is new, but I have adjusted well with the team because they’re very welcoming.”
The Chargers are looking for a better run in the second serving of the All-Filipino Conference this year after an eighth place finish in the nine-team field season opener, coming up with just two wins in eight outings.
Akari placed 10th in the 13-team mid-season Invitational Conference.