Home Sports Bella Belen, NU get perfect ending after rough start

Bella Belen, NU get perfect ending after rough start


Bella Belen and the NU Lady Bulldogs  after winning the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball championship with a sweep of UST Tigresse

Bella Belen and the NU Lady Bulldogs after winning the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball championship with a sweep of UST Tigresses. -MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — The title redemption tour was sweeter for Bella Belen and the NU Lady Bulldogs, proving their doubters wrong after starting the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball season  off on the wrong foot,

A sweep loss to the University of Santo Tomas started the Lady Bulldogs’ title redemption bid filled with doubts, but that didn’t stop Belen and the team from slowly but surely returning to the top capped off with the UAAP championships.

Incidentally, it was NU’s time to sweep UST–this time in a UAAP Finals series.

HIGHLIGHTS: UAAP Season 86 volleyball Finals NU vs UST Game 2

“I’m proud of my team because a lot of people doubted us from our first loss from UST to start the season. They doubted us that we could make it in the Finals,” said an emotional Belen after their title-clinching 25-23, 23-25, 27-25, 25-18 win over UST in Game 2 in front of 22,515 fans at Mall of Asia Arena.

“But our team showed that we can and proved those doubts wrong. We’re still NU and we can do it. Even if we lost and there were people who doubted us, we’re still solid together and will continue to fight for each other,” she added.

Belen also captured her second MVP in three seasons and boosted NU’s redemption with 19 points, 11 digs, and nine excellent receptions.

Despite adding another MVP and the 1st Best Outside spiker awards to her trophy cabinet, the 21-year-old hitter attributed their success to every member of the Lady Bulldogs who all worked toward their common goal of  bringing back the crown to NU after getting swept by the Angel Canino-led La Salle last year.

READ: NU Lady Bulldogs sweep UST Tigresses, win UAAP volleyball title

“As I always tell my team, we just have to play as one. And no one can beat us when all of us want to win. That’s what I saw throughout the season,” she said.

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The Lady Bulldogs had to overcome a slow start from their first loss to Tigresses before getting their groove in the second round, which they swept en route 12-2 record. That included their Round 2 win over UST, whose 8-0 unbeaten run was snapped.

“We’re very happy because we all worked hard and sacrificed in training. We reaped the fruit of our hard work as a team. I was emotional earlier because we felt that this was the result of everything we did in practice, in school, and all the hardships that you can think of. This is the sweetest,” Belen said.

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