MANILA, Philippines—Bella Belen wanted to bounce back from her scoreless performance against University of the Philippines in the first round and snap the two-game skid of National University in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
On a mission to rise from back-to-back losses to La Salle, the reigning UAAP MVP unleashed 19 points in NU’s 25-21, 27-25, 25-20 victory over UP on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“That’s one of my goals today. Not just to bounce back as a team but also to redeem myself because I can remember that I didn’t play [well and my usual minutes] during our first-round game against them. I’m happy that our team performed today,” said Belen in Filipino after delivering 11 receptions.
Belen, the first UAAP women’s volleyball player to become a rookie MVP, was scoreless in their four-set win over the Fighting Maroons in the first round last March 8 as she was benched.
The 20-year-old outside spiker didn’t only redeem herself but she also ended the Lady Bulldogs’ woes from back-to-back straight-set defeats to the unbeaten Lady Spikers last week.
“Before we moved on from those losses, we talked about what happened and why we lost. From there, we move forward. We promised to ourselves that it won’t happen again,” said Belen. “We started over in practice. These past few days our training was good. We saw it in the game today.”
Belen added that they put a premium on discipline to get back to their winning ways.
“For me, we just have to bring back our discipline because that’s what we learned from our Japan training camp. You should be disciplined inside and outside the court. It’s up to us how to apply discipline in the game,” she said.
Belen and the Lady Bulldogs will take a Holy Week break before facing second-seed Adamson on April 12 at FilOil EcoOil Centre.
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