Bella Belen plays through back injury in NU win over La Salle

UAAP: Bella Belen plays through back injury in NU win over La Salle

/ 11:40 PM April 14, 2024

Bella Belen NU Lady Bulldogs beat La Salle UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball

NU Lady Bulldogs’ Bella Belen against La Salle Lady Spikers in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—It’s mind over matter for Bella Belen, who still played a crucial role in National University’s win over La Salle on Sunday in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament despite nursing a back injury.

Belen said being a Psychology student helped her to push past pain and contribute 14 points and 14 excellent receptions in the Lady Bulldogs’ 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-22 victory that snapped a five-game skid against the Lady Spikers dating back to last season.

“As a psychology student, it’s all in the mind. Kaya pag tinatanong ako ng coach ko kung masakit likod ko, sinasabi ko na lang hindi,” said Belen after staying unbeaten in the second round with a five-game winning streak.


SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball second round

“Feeling ko the more na iisipin ko na masakit, the more siya magiging hindrance sa paglalaro ko.”

Belen credited her teammates, led by Vange Alinsug and Alyssa Solomon, after playing their hearts out to win their first game against La Salle for the first time since their title-clinching win in the Season 84 Finals Game 2 two years ago.

Bella Belen NU Lady Bulldogs beat La Salle UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball

Bella Belen. MARLO CUETO/

“Na-feel ko yung support ng bawat isa sa amin. Kung may masakit man o wala, talagang binigay yung best. Di lang naman ako yung may nararamdaman sa katawan,” said Belen, the Season 84 rookie MVP. “Siyempre, yung iba meron ding masakit pero talagang nakita kong nag-perform nang maayos kanina na talagang 100% yung katawan namin.”

READ: UAAP volleyball: Vange Alinsug says consistency key to NU surge

La Salle played without Angel Canino for the third straight game due to a cut on her right arm. But the Lady Bulldogs remained focused on their goal to finally get one against their rivals.


“Kami po kasi, hindi namin inisip na hindi maglalaro si Angel. Yung preparation namin these past few days, talagang inisip namin na maglalaro siya. Volleyball naman is a team sport,” Belen said. “Talagang sabi namin hangga’t buo kami, hangga’t walang naliligaw sa amin, hangga’t isa lang yung goal namin, magagawa namin and walang imposible.”

With a 10-2 record, Belen hopes to use their big win over the defending champions to finish the elimination round strong before entering the Final Four.


“I think we’re peaking at the right time at yung ang gusto po talaga namin mangyari ngayong season,” she said. “Lagi lang naman kaming one game at a time. Hindi namin iniisip yung future. Siguro yung championship, darating sa amin yan pag pagtrabahuan namin kasi naniniwala po ako na lahat ng pagod, lahat may kapalit.”

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TAGS: Bella Belen, UAAP Season 86

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