UAAP: Detdet Pepito, Bella Belen proud of each other's journey

UAAP: Detdet Pepito, Bella Belen proud of each other’s journey

/ 09:12 PM May 18, 2024

Detdet Pepito and Bella Belen at the awarding of UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball.

Detdet Pepito and Bella Belen at the awarding of UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines —They may have had contrasting endings to their UAAP women’s volleyball Finals stories, but Bella Belen and Detdet Pepito still shared the same feeling at the end of the day.


From teammates at Lucas R. Pascual Memorial Elementary School in Baesa, Quezon City to leading their teams in the UAAP women’s volleyball Finals, Belen and Pepito’s friendship and careers have definitely come far.


READ: Belen, Pepito take friendship to next level with UAAP Finals duel

But Belen and the Lady Bulldogs star got the better of Pepito and the Tigresses with a title-clinching Game 2 before a jampacked Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday for the school’s second title in three consecutive Finals appearances.

“We’re happy that we’re appreciated as a pair and that we met in he Finals. We’ve been together since elementary and I know her well,” said Belen in front of Pepito as they met up at the hallway of the MOA Arena locker rooms. 

“We may not have ended up as teammates, but at least we’re here and I saw that she really gave her best with the way she tried to carry her team,” she added.


READ: UAAP: Tiny but mighty Detdet Pepito captures hearts of UST community

After choosing different paths in high school with Belen joining Nazareth School and Pepito studying at UST, they met in the UAAP girls’ division Finals thrice until they clashed against  in the seniors division.


Pepito, now a two-time UAAP Best Libero, was proud to see Belen for hoisting her second championship and season MVP.

Detdet Pepito takes a video of Bella Belen during the UAAP Season 86 volleyball awarding ceremony

Detdet Pepito takes a video of Bella Belen during the UAAP Season 86 volleyball awarding ceremony. –MARLO CUETO/

“I hope we have made kuya Henry and all those who helped us during our elementary days proud. I never expected to be playing in a big university,” Pepito said, talking to Belen.

“I’m proud of Bella. I thought she was going to be a big libero with her size, but she was able to push through being a spiker.”

READ: UAAP: Bella Belen, NU get perfect ending after rough start to season

Their friendship and humor brought a different flavor to this year’s UAAP season, entertaining and inspiring the fans through their unbreakable bond despite playing for different schools.

“It’s all healthy competition,” said Belen. “I know her capabilities and UST’s as well. They’re fighters, you can’t underestimate them. As long as the game isn’t over, they will fight.”

“We really had a hard time against UST, so we needed to prove hard that we were a better team.”

Belen, though, believed it would be chaotic if they ended up playing in one team in college. Pepito joked that the former would still be a libero and she would be a spiker if their duo pushed through in high school and college.

Amid all their funny and heartwarming moments in Season 86, Pepito encouraged Belen to continue to live their dream, hoping to face each other again in the finals.

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“Let’s continue with our passion for volleyball. Let’s not get tired of pursuing this because it’s our dream job to play volleyball in the PVL and that’s where we’ll be in a few years,” Pepito told Belen.

TAGS: NU Lady Bulldogs, UAAP Season 86 volleyball, UST Tigresses

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