MANILA, Philippines – Bella Belen starred as National University dispatched Ateneo in four sets, 25-8, 25-19, 16-25, 25-19, to stay unbeaten in the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-season Championship on Sunday, October 16 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The NU Lady Bulldogs kept the top spot at 3-0 in Pool C to advance to the next round, while dealing the Blue Eagles their first loss in three games.
Belen, the rookie MVP during NU’s championship romp in the UAAP, paced the Lady Bulldogs with 11 attacks.
“Hindi po dapat kami makapante. Dapat binibigay namin yung best namin every game, every set, at dapat ‘yung respeto namin sa kalaban nandoon palagi,” said Belen.
(We should not be complacent. We should give our best every game, every set, and we should always respect our opponents.)
The Lady Bulldogs fired an 8-0 run early, spearheaded by Belen, Alyssa Solomon, and Cess Robles on the way to a lopsided opening set, 25-8.
Even with the Blue Eagles putting up more fight in the next set, the Lady Bulldogs kept the momentum with young guns like Evangeline Alinsug.
But the tide shifted in the third with Ateneo putting up a more solid defense to take control, before Faith Nisperos’ back-to-back hits wrapped it up in their favor, 25-16.
There’s no rattling the Lady Bulldogs, though, as they stayed composed in the nip-and-tuck fourth set before surging ahead late.
In other games, UP continued its winning streak after downing San Beda in straight sets 25-19, 25-7, 25-18, to improve to 3-0 in Pool A.
University of Santo Tomas also solidified its bid for a spot in the next round after a 25-13, 25-19, 25-15, drubbing of Emilio Aguinaldo College for a 3-0 card in Pool B.
Standing behind the Tigresses are Adamson and Lyceum at 2-1, who fell into a tie after the Lady Falcons swept the Lady Pirates, 25-15, 25-22, 25-16. – Ivy Ferrer/Rappler.com