UAAP Volleyball

UAAP rookie MVPs Canino, Belen strive to be inspirations to aspiring athletes

JR Isaga

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UAAP rookie MVPs Canino, Belen strive to be inspirations to aspiring athletes

THE FUTURE. La Salle's Angel Canino and NU's Bella Belen share a hug at the conclusion of the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball finals

UAAP Season 85 Media Team

Now entering their respective off-seasons after a hard-fought UAAP Season 85 finals, both Bella Belen and Angel Canino reiterate their mutual respect for each other

MANILA, Philippines – UAAP volleyball stars Angel Canino and Bella Belen, even at such a young age, are already on top of their games with more than a decade left of guaranteed dominance.

Fierce rivals on the court, the only rookie MVPs in the UAAP’s 85-year existence are nonetheless great friends once the taraflex has been rolled up.

They even have the same aspirations for their careers to match their stardom trajectories so far.

Recipients of the Collegiate Press Corps Volleyball Player of the Year awards for school years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, both Belen and Canino hope their prodigious prowess translates into inspiring energy down to the grassroots level, where numerous prospects hone their craft every day.

“We’re really thankful because we’re not expecting these awards given how many players there are in the UAAP, but it’s a blessing that we’re a part of this,” Belen, the UAAP Season 84 MVP and champion with the NU Lady Bulldogs, said in Filipino.

“I’m really happy because that’s one of our goals, to inspire the youth through volleyball and let them see how great it feels to say you have a second family.”

Canino, the UAAP Season 85 MVP and newly crowned champion with the La Salle Lady Spikers, likewise thanked the Collegiate Press Corps for the citation, and said that she is blessed to be recognized for her efforts in a historic rookie season.

“I’m really happy because I’m able to make kids happy while watching volleyball,” she added in Filipino. “That’s the impact I want to have to people because volleyball is not just about having fun while playing but also learning moral values along the way.”

Now entering their respective off-seasons after a hard-fought Season 85 finals, both Belen and Canino reiterated their mutual respect for each other as fans expect many more wars to be waged with these two budding superstars at the helm.

“I was part of the audience in Season 84, so I saw how Bella played. I was inspired to play like her as a rookie and we were also together during the ASEAN [School Games],” Canino said. “I saw her heart and her hard work paid off, so I’m really proud.”

“I’m very proud of Angel because all throughout Season 85 we saw how great and steady she really was,” Belen continued. “We saw her work ethic. I already played with her before and I can see Angel will go far in her career.” –

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