UAAP: Bella Belen thought the MVP plum was going to Angge Poyos

UAAP: Bella Belen thought the MVP plum was going to Angge Poyos

/ 11:31 PM May 18, 2024

Bella Belen and Angge Poyos–the two best players in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament.

 NU Lady Bulldogs’ Bella Belen and UST Tigresses’ Angge Poyos–the two best players in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Things weren’t expected to be like this—at least not from the perspective of National University star and UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball champion and MVP Bella Belen.

While the glory beckoned for the Lady Bulldogs and Belen on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena, Belen admitted that she didn’t expect to be the holder of one of her newly won hardware.

After winning the big one over University of Santo Tomas in Game 2 of the Season 86 Finals, Belen was called by league staff to pose with the tournament’s trophy for a photo shoot.

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

And of course, her pictures included her newest trophy–her second UAAP women’s volleyball MVP award in three years.

But while both trophies were in her grasp, Belen reflected on the concluded season.

Back in the opening weekend of the women’s volleyball tournament, National University began their championship bid with a black eye after falling to their eventual dance partner in the Finals, University of Santo Tomas.

NU Lady Bulldogs' Bella Belen wins the UAAP Season 86 MVP

NU Lady Bulldogs’ Bella Belen wins the UAAP Season 86 MVP. –MARLO CUETO/

The Lady Bulldogs, who were one of the early-season favorites to win it all, were stunned by a Golden Tigresses squad that mainly consisted of rookies.


Since then, Belen had the thought: she won’t be the season MVP. In fact, she said it could’ve been UST star Angge Poyos.

“In our game against UST? Poyos was great,” said Belen in Filipino with Inquirer Sports.


READ: Bella Belen beats Angge Poyos in tight UAAP MVP race

“You could see her hard work then that she was doing her best for the team to contribute in terms of points and defense. You can see her talent. She’s just a rookie but you can see her potential then.”

While Poyos ultimately didn’t win the award that ended on Belen’s palms, she still showed up big in Season 86 by winning the Rookie of the Year plum.

NU’s huge losses in the elimination round also gave Belen less hope of winning the MVP trophy.

“We had losses. That alone [is huge]. When you lose, there’s a huge chance you wouldn’t get it [MVP].  I really didn’t have a goal to be MVP or have an award this season. I just wanted to give back to my team. Whatever I can do, I’ll do it but for the team and not for the award.”

READ: UAAP: Angge Poyos sees bright future for young UST Tigresses

Belen basically waved the white flag on winning her second MVP and instead focused on something much bigger, which was bringing the crown back to Sampaloc. That mentality alone made her coronation as the league’s best player even sweeter.

“That award in Season 84, I didn’t expect that, same as this. I just told myself that I need to work, give my best every game and give the team whatever it needs. Someone needed to lead inside the court so I told myself to step up in that aspect.”

“Whatever I need to do, I’ll do it. I shouldn’t hold back, I need to give my best for the team.”

UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament rookie of the year Angge Poyos of UST TIgresses

UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament rookie of the year Angge Poyos of UST TIgresses. –MARLO CUETO/

Belen edged out the competitor she thought would be the MVP in Poyos—in the statistical race and in the Finals—to win best individual honors.

To add even more feathers to the Lady Bulldog’s cap, she also earned the 1st Best Outside Hitter award with 300 positional points.

Belen also moved one reign closer to the feat of Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez and Far Eastern University’s Ailyn Ege and Monica Aleta who have all won  three MVP awards.

But only time will be the one to tell if Belen could achieve that goal.

Because all Belen wants to tell is the story of a team player who helped bring two championships in three years for National University.

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“I’m very happy because my commitment has paid off. Like I said before, individual awards are just bonuses for a player whose main goal is to be a champion.”

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

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