Bella Belen wins second UAAP MVP in three seasons

Bella Belen wins second UAAP women’s volleyball MVP in three seasons

/ 01:41 PM May 15, 2024

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

NU Lady Bulldogs’ Bella Belen is now a two-time UAAP women’s volleyball MVP.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Bella Belen was crowned UAAP MVP for a second time hours before Wednesday’s Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Finals where National University is looking to complete its title redemption tour against University of Santo Tomas at Mall of Asia Arena.

Belen became the first NU women’s volleyball player to become a two-time MVP — her second top individual honor in three seasons.

The do-it-all outside spiker has joined an elite club of two-time UAAP MVPs with La Salle’s Desiree Hernandez and Aby Maraño, and an award shy of tying three-time winners Alyssa Valdez of Ateneo and Far Eastern University’s Ailyn Ege and Monica Aleta.

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Two years ago, the 21-year-old Belen made history as UAAP women’s volleyball tournament’s first-ever MVP and Rookie of the Year before completing the Lady Bulldogs’ 16-game sweep of Season 84 to end a 65-year title drought.

Belen has a chance to replicate that feat when NU tries to sweep UST in Game 2 for its second title in three years.

The 5-foot-7 spiker from Quezon City tallied a league-high 82.2 statistical points. She ranked seventh in scoring in the league with 205 points, accumulated from 179 attacks, 15 blocks, and 11 aces. She stood as the sixth most efficient spiker at 36.53%, the eighth best server at 0.22 per set, the sixth best digger at 2.3 per set, and the second best receiver with a 48.3% efficiency rate.

The NU star also got her second 1st Best Outside Hitter award with 300 positional points, while UST super rookie Angge Poyos earned the 2nd Best Outside Hitter with 285 points despite falling short of becoming the league’s third rookie MVP after Belen and Angel Canino of La Salle last year as she garnered 76.964 SPs.

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READ: UAAP: Bella Belen not frustrated by benching in NU win after ‘stiff’ showing

Poyos, though, earned the Rookie of the Year — the first Tigress top freshman since Eya Laure won the award in Season 81 five years ago. She had 290 points from 249 attacks, 23 aces, and 18 blocks. She emerged as the third most efficient spiker at 40.75% and the best server at 0.41 aces/set.

The newly-crowned top rookie remains a game-time decision when UST tries to force a rubber match in Game 2 after she sprained her right ankle in the series opener on Saturday.

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UST setter Cassie Carballo became the first Tigress to win the Best Setter award since Denise Tan in Season 69 last 2007 with a league-best 4.55 excellent sets per game while also ranking as the second-best server at 0.41 aces per set.

Tigresses captain Detdet Pepito won her second Best Libero award in a row as the best digger (4.2 per set) and the best receiver (55.45%) after the elimination round with 243 positional points.

Alyssa Solomon reclaimed the Best Opposite Spiker after losing it last year. It was her second UAAP individual award in three years.

Thea Gagate 1st Best Middle Blocker for the third straight season — the only player to achieve the feat so far since the UAAP awarding was based on position in 2019. University of the Philippines’ Niña Ytang was the 2nd Best Middle Blocker anew, winning the plum for back-to-back seasons. 

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Gagate had 195 positional points, leading the league in blocks with 0.77 per set.  Ytang had 173 points, placing second in blocks of 0.67 kill blocks average per set.

TAGS: Bella Belen, NU Lady Bulldogs, UAAP Season 86

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