UAAP Volleyball

UAAP greats: Belen, Ybañez earn first multiple MVP awards since Valdez, Espejo

JR Isaga

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

UAAP greats: Belen, Ybañez earn first multiple MVP awards since Valdez, Espejo

BEST OF THE BEST. NU's Bella Belen and UST's Josh Ybanez react in the UAAP Season 86 volleyball tournaments.

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Star spikers Bella Belen and Josh Ybañez clinch their second career MVP awards, while the likes of Angge Poyos, Thea Gagate, and Owa Retamar also capture top individual awards

MANILA, Philippines – National University star spiker Bella Belen further solidified her bounce-back UAAP Season 86 campaign for the Lady Bulldogs, winning her second women’s volleyball Most Valuable Player award in just her third year on Wednesday, May 15, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Meanwhile, over on the men’s side, University of Santo Tomas sophomore sensation Josh Ybañez kept the crown firmly on his head with his second straight top individual award as the leader of the finals underdog Golden Spikers.

Belen and Ybañez’s wins marked the first time a pair of volleyball stars captured multiple UAAP MVP awards since Ateneo phenoms Alyssa Valdez (2013-2016) and Marck Espejo (2013-2018) achieved the feat in their respective collegiate peaks.

Belen also earned her second career Best Outside Hitter award alongside UST freshman gem and MVP runner-up Angge Poyos, who in turn won Rookie of the Year over fellow worthy candidate Casiey Dongallo of the University of the East.

NU star Alyssa Solomon, meanwhile, won her second Best Opposite Hitter honor over the likes of De La Salle University’s Shevana Laput and UST’s Reg Jurado.

Despite getting dethroned in the Final Four, the Lady Spikers will not go home empty-handed as outgoing tower Thea Gagate captured her third straight Best Middle Blocker award, while University of the Philippines veteran Niña Ytang stood alongside her in the award race for the second year in a row.

UST captain Detdet Pepito also won her second straight individual award, as she edged the likes of Adamson University’s Karen Verdeflor for the Best Libero honors. Cassie Carballo, meanwhile, completed the Golden Tigresses’ awardee trifecta with her first Best Setter plum.

Men’s cream of the crop

Back in the men’s division, Nico Almendras of NU will cap off his collegiate career with his first Best Outside Hitter award alongside the young Ybañez.

Far Eastern University’s Dryx Saavedra earned the Best Opposite Hitter distinction, while Martin Bugaoan likewise raised the Tamaraws’ profile as one of the league’s Best Middle Blockers. La Salle’s Nat del Pilar captured the other top blocker plum, while his teammate Menard Guerrero locked down the Best Libero citation.

NU’s young star Jade Disquitado cruised as the Rookie of the Year while team captain Owa Retamar – just a few days after his graduation – once again marched to a loud ovation with the Best Setter honors for the second straight season.

Coming up right after the awarding ceremony are the NU-UST men’s and women’s finals Game 2, where both Bulldogs squads shoot for a pair of series sweeps to complete a quick season finale. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!