UAAP Volleyball

Two-time UAAP MVP Bella Belen dedicates 2nd title to early NU doubters

JR Isaga

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Two-time UAAP MVP Bella Belen dedicates 2nd title to early NU doubters

PAID OFF. NU's Bella Belen (center) celebrates with her Lady Bulldogs teammates at the conclusion of the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball finals

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Motivated by the idea that NU could no longer book a finals return after multiple early setbacks, two-time MVP Bella Belen lights a fire under her and her teammates, blazing all the way to their second title in three years

MANILA, Philippines – The great ones in sports always use something, anything, to motivate them in their everyday grind, and volleyball is no different.

Motivated by numerous early setbacks in UAAP Season 86 on top of a failed title defense the year prior, NU star spiker Bella Belen lit a fire under her and her teammates, and the heat seared across the league the rest of the way, ending with the Lady Bulldogs’ second title in three years.

NU’s blazing run was a sight to see, as the Season 84 champions swept the entire second round, 7-0, after dropping three games in the first, and rose as the first seed when the dust settled.

Taken down a peg by a stunning FEU sweep to kick off the Final Four, the Lady Bulldogs again poured fuel on their trail, razing their last three assignments, capped with a two-game series sweep of the shorthanded UST Golden Tigresses.

“I’m proud of my team because we’ve had some early losses this season, and people stopped believing in us from those losses, including the very first one against UST,” she said in Filipino.

“A lot really doubted us that we could no longer do it, that we can’t get back to the finals. But we showed them like, ‘What do you mean we can’t reach the finals? We’re NU, we can do it.’ Something to that effect. Even though we lost and people doubted, we were still whole and fought together.”

Indeed, the Lady Bulldogs, at the biggest stage, proved that they show no mercy when they feel they have the upper hand.

With UST practically not having MVP runner-up and Rookie of the Year Angge Poyos since the second set of Game 1, NU’s dynamic duo Belen and eventual Finals MVP Alyssa Solomon ramped up the domination, combining for 46 points in the series finale.

“We’re very happy because we saw the fruits of all our labor as a team. So our emotions earlier were so high, we all cried so much because we felt that this was it, our efforts paid off, and all our hardships – in training, in school, in all kinds of hardships you can think of – it all paid off,” she continued.

“This is the sweetest.” –

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