Collegiate volleyball

NU eyes SSL conquest without Alas Pilipinas’ Belen, Panique, Solomon

Philip Matel

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NU eyes SSL conquest without Alas Pilipinas’ Belen, Panique, Solomon

HEART AND SOUL. Bella Belen (right) and Alyssa Solomon power the NU Lady Bulldogs to another UAAP volleyball crown in Season 86.


The NU Lady Bulldogs are set to make do with a two-game SSL preseason stint from Bella Belen and Arah Panique before their return to Alas Pilipinas duty, while injured Alyssa Solomon sits out the tournament

MANILA, Philippines – Before their return to Alas Pilipinas, National University standouts Bella Belen and Arah Panique will play two games in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals, which is set to begin on Wednesday, July 10, at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

“Before we even got here in the [SSL], our mindset was we would play without Bella, Arah, and Aly (Alyssa Solomon),” NU team captain Erin Pangilinan told reporters on Tuesday, July 9.

“This is a great opportunity not only for us as individuals, but for the team as well to gauge ourselves and also to give an opportunity for the team’s rookies to showcase their skills,” she added.

“Individual maturity will eventually come in, since we’ll see how each one will step up.”

Solomon, the UAAP Season 86 Finals MVP, will be out of action as she continues to recuperate from an injury. The star opposite hitter also missed her national team return in the 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup for the same reason.

The Season 86 women’s volleyball champion will face off against Enderun Colleges and Xavier University-Northern Mindanao Selection in Pool A, with the top two advancing to the quarterfinals.

Other participating teams from Luzon include the University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University, College of Saint Benilde, University of Batangas, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, and Lyceum of the Philippines University.

The Visayas will be represented by University of San Carlos and University of Southern Philippines Foundation.

Mindanao will be represented by Xavier and Team Southern Mindanao (Soccsksargen).

Tournament defending champion De La Salle University begged off from participating, citing the recovery of its injury-riddled roster.

Squaring off to start the tournament at 9 am on Wednesday are University of San Carlos and Letran in Pool D, while Enderun and NU will face each other at noon in Pool A.

Facing off at 2 pm in Pool B are UST and Batangas, while Pool C squads USPF and FEU cap the first day of competition at 4 pm.

It will be a knockout quarterfinals and semifinals, while the championship series and battle for third series will be contested in best-of-three showdowns. The tournament will run until July 17. –

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