UAAP Volleyball

Biting back: NU refocuses on UAAP title redemption after Season 85 setback

JR Isaga

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Biting back: NU refocuses on UAAP title redemption after Season 85 setback

STARE-OFF. NU star spiker Bella Belen stares at La Salle rookie standout Angel Canino at the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball finals Game 1

UAAP Season 85 Media Team

NU, the former champion and last season's runner-up, figures to be a top contender still as the new season approaches, with its holdover stars refocused and hungry for redemption

MANILA, Philippines – Practice makes perfect, and with perfection, comes pressure.

That is the situation the NU Lady Bulldogs went through in their UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball title defense right after an astounding 16-0 Season 84 sweep.

Battling internal inconsistencies alongside stronger, more confident opponents, the Sampaloc-based spikers still rose to the Final Four second seed with an 11-3 record, before eventually being dethroned in back-to-back, five-set finals games by resurgent La Salle and rookie-MVP Angel Canino.

With Season 86 set to tip off this Saturday, February 17, the Lady Bulldogs have found enough time to lick their wounds ahead of another crack at a fourth UAAP women’s volleyball title.

Vange Alinsug, NU’s lone starting six representative in the kickoff press conference last Monday, February 12, revealed as much.

“We regrouped, of course, as part of our preparations dating back to last season,” she said in Filipino.

“While the pressure may not be the same as last season, it’s still there. Right now, we already know what we really want and what to do. We’re focused on redemption because we really want to get our title back.”

Still led by the likes of former rookie-MVP Bella Belen, star opposite Alyssa Solomon, setter Lams Lamina, libero Shaira Jardio, and support outside Alinsug, the Lady Bulldogs are still a definitive Final Four contender alongside champion La Salle and possibly FEU, Adamson, and UST.

Even without former Finals MVP Cess Robles and Best Libero Jen Nierva, who have both graduated and turned pro with Chery Tiggo, NU still possesses a potent offense and defense under returning head coach Norman Miguel.

“My role will be the same, but we collectively need to be more vocal as a team, so we can continue helping one another inside the court,” Alinsug continued.

“We really want that championship back. The moment we lost it after Season 85, we promised ourselves we would not stop working until we regain it in Season 86. I will contribute my 100% best and we all need to be one whole unit inside the court.” –

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