UAAP Volleyball

‘Mukhang QPav:’ Belen-led NU quiets huge UST crowd on way to 2nd title cusp in 3 years

JR Isaga

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‘Mukhang QPav:’ Belen-led NU quiets huge UST crowd on way to 2nd title cusp in 3 years

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

In the midst of a rocking Araneta Coliseum with 20,955 fans, two-time UAAP MVP candidate Bella Belen leans on the NU faithful to boost the Lady Bulldogs in their eventual finals Game 1 sweep of hobbling UST

MANILA, Philippines – Amid a continuing hot surge of fans watching live volleyball games in the Philippines, the Araneta Coliseum once again rocked with excitement and energy as NU and UST kicked off the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball finals on Saturday, May 11.

In front of 20,955 boisterous fans, the Lady Bulldogs stifled the Golden Tigresses with a 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 statement sweep and moved one win from capturing their second championship in three years.

The untimely second-set ankle injury to MVP candidate Angge Poyos certainly added to UST’s somber mood, but NU, for its part, only controlled things it could, including fighting through the sea of yellow that flooded half the fabled Big Dome.

“We’re so happy because we really saw our crowd came here to support us,” MVP candidate Bella Belen said in Filipino after scoring 13 points in the win. “They fought with the UST crowd even though we thought the Araneta was the QPav (UST Quadricentennial Pavilion). Right? It looked like the QPav.”

“But when we saw how our own fans cheered, we knew it helped us, and it boosted our energy to see people who believe in us, people who support us, and we hope in Game 2 we see them again. Time to turn the [Mall of Asia Arena] into the NU gym.”

Before and especially after the Poyos injury, NU cranked its intensity up a handful of notches as the likes of Alyssa Solomon (17 points), Vange Alinsug (12 points), and Sheena Toring (10 points) all showed their A game to end the one-sided contest at just 1 hour and 48 minutes.

Now within reach of another title, Belen hopes she and the rest of the Lady Bulldogs continue to lock and finish the job before the Tigresses get their bearings back and possibly steal the series in three games.

“We’re just going back to the drawing board, scout this game, and see what we did right that we can bring until the end,” Belen continued.

“We need to have that mindset that Game 2 is like a do-or-die game and no longer put ourselves in a bigger challenge. If we have the power to finish it in Game 2, we’ll do it.” –

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