UAAP: NU, Eya Laure-led UST relish longstanding rivalry | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: NU, Eya Laure-led UST relish longstanding rivalry

/ 04:42 PM April 26, 2023

Bella Belen NU Lady Bulldogs UAAP Season 85

Bella Belen. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Bella Belen believes National University’s rivalry with Eya Laure and University of Santo Tomas got even more competitive in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.

Belen conspired with Alyssa Solomon to lead NU’s vengeful 25-16, 25-21, 17-25, 25-14 win over UST on Wednesday at FilOil EcoOil Centre to boost their chances for the last twice-to-beat incentive.


With their semifinal seedings at stake, the Lady Bulldogs and Tigresses were reminiscent of their high school rivalry when they faced each other in five straight Finals duels from Season 76 to 80 in the girls’ division with UST winning the 2013 crown before Nazareth School accomplished a historic ‘four-peat’.


Belen, the reigning UAAP MVP, said the competition reached another level this season and became more exciting as the supporters of both teams filled the 6,000-capacity arena in San Juan compared to their high school days.

“I think mas competitive ngayong collegiate. Yung crowd, grabe talaga. Di naman ganito yung crowd ng high school. Halos parang kalahati lang po,” said Belen after scoring 16 points and tallying 12 excellent receptions. “Siguro dagdag din po yun para sa amin. Nakaka-boost kung paano kami maglaro na may nakikita po kaming nagsu-support sa amin.”

(I think it got even more competitive in the collegiate (stage). The crowd was (impressive) because it wasn’t like this when we were in high school, it’s almost half of this (crowd attendance). It boosts us how we played today after seeing their support for us.)

Solomon, who scored a game-high 17 points, agreed with Belen that the level of competition was the biggest difference as they bounced back from their first loss of the season at the hands of UST, 23-25, 25-27, 25-17, 25-22, 11-15, in Round 1.

Laure, who last played in high school in Season 80 losing to the Lady Bullpups at the same venue, was also amazed at the development of both teams.

“I’m happy for both parties because almost the same faces who played for NU are already playing for them in college. Same for UST, this is also the program that started in high school and now playing in college,” said Laure in Filipino after her 17-point effort went for naught. “It’s almost the same players in high school that the coaches are using right now.”


The Lady Bulldogs lost steam in the third set as the Tigresses refused to be swept but Belen and Solomon were quick to remind their teammates to get their act together.

“In the fourth set, we should have a mindset of not losing set because we were up by two sets. We only need a little push to finish the game,” said Belen in Filipino. “We made sure to dictate the pace because if we won’t it will be harder for us. We also brought back the enjoyment inside the court.”

Solomon said they played relaxed in the third and let their emotions get the better of them but they remained composed and put on the finishing touches in the fourth to earn their fifth straight win for a 10-3 record — a win away from claiming the last twice-to-beat bonus.

“We let up in the third and we were relaxed. When we entered the fourth, we reminded each other that we couldn’t afford to play like that and just went back to what we did in the first set,” Solomon said in Filipino.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

NU tries to seal the No. 2 spot in its last elimination round game against also-ran Ateneo on Saturday at the same venue.


UAAP: NU gets back at UST, closes in on twice-to-beat in women’s volleyball

UAAP: NU Lady Bulldogs crush UE Lady Warriors to seal Final Four return

TAGS: Bella Belen, Eya Laure, NU, UAAP Season 85, UST

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.