UAAP Volleyball

Emotional Bella Belen gushes as team-wide NU effort pays off over once-unbeaten UST

JR Isaga

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Emotional Bella Belen gushes as team-wide NU effort pays off over once-unbeaten UST

PACING ON TOP. NU spiker Bella Belen reacts in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Former UAAP MVP Bella Belen releases her pent-up emotions of happiness and relief as title contender NU ends UST's historic 8-0 Season 86 start to avenge a first-round loss

MANILA, Philippines – Not all streaks in sports are meant to last, and there will always be that one team that gets the better of the other no matter how good each side is.

On Sunday, March 24, the UST Golden Tigresses finally met their match amid a historic 8-0 start in UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball after fellow contender NU Lady Bulldogs played to their strengths in a four-set win, 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20, at a packed Araneta Coliseum.

Despite UST’s best efforts, NU was just on another level in the blockbuster showdown, as it powered down a staggering 13 aces and 10 blocks compared to 2 and 4, respectively, from the other side.

On the stat sheet and from the eye test, the Lady Bulldogs were simply the better team, and no one was happier for the win than former MVP Bella Belen, who was caught on camera with happy tears while singing the school hymn.

“Starting from training, we already set a goal with what we wanted to happen against UST, and we didn’t want a repeat of what happened against La Salle, where after the game, we had what ifs, we had regrets,” she said in Filipino.

“Our mindset this game, we shouldn’t have what ifs. We need to give our best and there, we were all emotional after the game because we really saw the fruits of our best efforts,” continued Belen, who stuffed the stat sheet with 24 points, 13 excellent digs, and 10 excellent receptions.

The third-year star, however, was not alone, as reliable hitters Vange Alinsug and Alyssa Solomon added 18 and 17 points, respectively. Middle blockers Chammy Maaya and captain Erin Pangilinan each scored 8, while libero Shaira Jardio rounded out with 23 excellent receptions and 10 excellent digs.

“Our team now that once lost to UST has clearer goals compared to the first round,” Belen continued. “Back then, we could see that our movements weren’t as one.”

“Now our goals are clearer in a way that no matter what we do, no matter what is asked of us, we just accept everything, so that when the games come, we no longer have a hard time.” –

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