MANILA, Philippines – Reigning MVP Bella Belen had another spectacular showing, delivering in her promise to refocus over a week after her surprise benching.
Belen unloaded 16 points and 10 excellent receptions to power the NU Lady Bulldogs to a sweep of the FEU Lady Tamaraws, 25-21, 25-9, 25-18, in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan on Saturday, March 18.
Although NU encountered a rough patch in the third set, the Lady Bulldogs pulled through with opposite hitter Alyssa Solomon also adding 14 points and 7 digs.
NU coach Karl Dimaculangan, though, said that if even if his stars rediscovered their fine forms, the defending champions still have more to work on.
“We need to be consistent throughout the game, because as we observed, we still have a lot of unforced errors that we need to limit,” said Dimaculangan in Filipino.
The Lady Tamaraws took the upper hand midway through the third, 14-11, but the Lady Bulldogs limited their opponents to just 4 points the rest of the way while making 14 of their own to finish the match in one hour and 17 minutes.
With their third straight win, the Lady Bulldogs rose to 5-1 while the Lady Tamaraws dropped to 3-4.
Unlike in the first frame where they needed the heroics of Solomon, the Lady Bulldogs’ solid net defense in the second set gave them a 16-5 start, and they never looked back for a 2-0 set lead.
Cess Robles also chipped in 12 points while libero Jen Nierva tallied 11 digs and 10 receptions.
NU dominated the spiking department with 41 points while the Lady Tamaraws only got 18.
Jean Asis and Chenie Tagaod led FEU with just 6 points apiece.
NU will wrap up its first-round campaign agains La Salle in a rematch of last season’s finals on Wednesday, March 22, at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com
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