UAAP: NU rediscovers bite vs UST, look to sustain run

UAAP: NU Lady Bulldogs rediscover bite vs UST, look to sustain run

Alyssa Solomon NU Lady Bulldogs UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball

NU Lady Bulldogs against the UST Tigresses in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

There was something different in National University (NU) when it took on University of Santo Tomas (UST) for the second time around this season of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.

Nine games into Season 86, the Lady Bulldogs have patiently worked on themselves to be the cohesive unit everyone—including themselves—knew they were capable of being to get back at the Golden Tigresses, who dealt them an opening game shut down.

“Personally, I believe in my teammates,” NU stalwart Bella Belen said after emerging victorious in its five-set thriller against UST before the Holy Week break.

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“Every time that UST scored on us, I always tell my teammates to just believe and give their hearts to the game,” said Belen, who had an all-around performance reminiscent of her dynamic rookie year.

“I know my teammates; I’ve been with them for a long time now and I know what they can do.”Having every motivation they needed in their pockets in facing the previously undefeated UST crew, Belen and the rest of the Lady Bulldogs dealt the Tigresses their first loss of the season while ending their foes’ blistering eight-game winning run that started, coincidentally, with a victory over NU.

This time, however, NU knew what to expect from UST, armed with the knowledge of its lapses in their curtain-raising duel.

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READ: NU deals UST its first loss in UAAP women’s volleyball

Bella Belen NU Lady Bulldogs beat UST Tigresses UAAP Season 86 volleyball

Bella Belen and the NU Lady Bulldogs.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

“The team that faced UST just now, I feel like everyone had a clearer picture of our goal compared to round one where just in our movements alone you can see that we were not united,” the first Rookie of the Year-Most Valuable Player of the league said.

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“But now … everything that we do and what the coaches want us to do, we continuously accept it so when game time comes, we won’t have a hard time playing,” she added.

UST was only one of the two teams who managed to get past the Lady Bulldogs in the previous stage. The other? Defending champion La Salle, which was also triumphant against NU in their Season 85 title match.

The Lady Spikers remained a puzzle for NU two weeks ago, as the Lady Bulldogs continue to remain patient to settle an old score.

“We may have lost in our La Salle game but we saw that we improved and we are going to bring that to every game … the team’s mindset is more intact now,” Belen said. “We are more hungry to win now.”

That should serve as a warning for Casiey Dongallo and University of the East (UE) which battles the streak stoppers on April 3 at Mall of Asia Arena.

“We prepare for and study every team, our respect is there for each team whether they are at the bottom or not,” Belen said. “How we studied UST, that is also what we will do with UE. We will treat the break as preparation for the next games.

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“Still, it is one game at a time.”

TAGS: NU Lady Bulldogs, UAAP, UST

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