UAAP: Hampered by back pain, Bella Belen still finds way to help

UAAP: Hampered by back pain, Bella Belen still finds way to help

/ 10:14 PM April 10, 2024

 NU Lady Bulldogs' Bella Belen UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament

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

MANILA, Philippines — National University star Bella Belen said that her back pain affected her performance after she was limited to her lowest scoring output in her UAAP career.

Playing through a minor injury, Belen had a career-low two points but National University still swept Ateneo, 25-22, 25-16, 25-15, in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena. 

The Season 84 MVP protected NU’s floor with nine excellent digs and five excellent receptions.

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“I’m playing through a back pain but it shouldn’t be a reason. I have to find a way to contribute to the team,” Belen told the reporters in Filipino.

“If I can’t score through my spikes, I think I have to make up for it on the defensive end.”

Alyssa Solomon dropped 23 points in straight sets, hitting 19 of her 28 attack attempts, while Vange Alinsug backstopped her with 15 points.

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READ: UAAP: Bella Belen, NU show desire to win in beating UST

The Lady Bulldogs still credited Belen’s impact inside the court as  they score their fourth straight win to improve to a 9-2 record.

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“Even though Bella scored less, she still contributed a lot, especially her passing and defense and even her serve,” said Solomon in Filipino. “She’s always reliable in terms of the non-scoring department.”

“It’s not a bad game for Ate Belle because she’s a big help. Her presence strengthens our on-court connection,” added Alinsug. 

Belen said her scoring struggles were also a chance for her other teammates to step up.

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“We got each other’s back. Like the game earlier, my teammates knew that I was struggling in attacks. Ate Aly, Vange, and Camila [Lamina] encouraged me that I can do it,” she said.

The league’s first women’s volleyball rookie MVP is working double time on her recovery as NU battles La Salle, which is unlikely to have injured Angel Canino on Sunday.

TAGS: NU Lady Bulldogs, UAAP Season 86

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