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Tiebreaker Times


Bella Belen admits being overwhelmed by ‘Big Dome’: ‘First time kasi namin maglaro dito’

When National University barked back in the second to fourth sets to eventually topple University of the Philippines, two usual faces were not seen on the taraflex.

Reigning MVP Mhicaela Belen and Best Libero Jen Nierva were benched by Lady Bulldogs head coach Karl Dimaculangan after the Fighting Maroons take the first frame, 25-18.

“Siguro kailangan kung may nagpeperform sa team namin na mas maayos kung magperform, yun yung gagamitin namin,” said Dimaculangan.

“Hindi kami pwedeng magpabaya lalo na patapos na rin itong first round so alam naman ng bawat players yun na kailangan nilang magperform and ready naman din bawat teammates nila,” he added as Vange Alinsug and Shaira Jardio stepped up.

Belen was averaging 16 points in NU’s first three games and was the fourth-best scorer in the league prior to Wednesday’s matches.

But against UP, she was held scoreless in her one set on the floor.

However, Belen is taking the benching in stride as she admitted to having a bad performance.UAAP-85-WVB-NU-vs-UP-Belen-Nierva-2 Bella Belen admits being overwhelmed by 'Big Dome': 'First time kasi namin maglaro dito' News NU UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Siguro po nung first set kasi masyado po kaming naging stiff and first time po kasi namin maglaro dito sa Araneta so siguro po naninibago pa sa surroundings,” said the league’s first and only Rookie MVP in tournament history.

“Balik uli kami sa preparation namin, bawi lang kami. Kailangan bumawi kaagad kami next game so tapos na yung game na ito so parang yung lessons dito kailangan dalhin namin para hindi na maulit next game,” Belen continued as Nierva politely declined to comment as she was not feeling well.

All of Season 84’s games were played at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City while during her high school days, games were held at Paco Arena and Filoil-Ecooil Centre.

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Also factoring into her sluggish display was the fact that the Lady Bulldogs were coming off a five-set defeat to University of Santo Tomas last Saturday that snapped their 20-game winning streak, 18 of which she was a part of.

Personally, Belen has not lost a game in the UAAP, be it the juniors or seniors rank, since December 9, 2018 when De La Salle-Zobel beat them in the Season 81 girls’ finals. She then went on to win the next 32 games she played.UAAP-82-Girls-Volleyball-Finals-G2-NU-v-ADU-Belen Bella Belen admits being overwhelmed by 'Big Dome': 'First time kasi namin maglaro dito' News NU UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Actually kanina po kasi nagaadjust ako hindi po kasi ako sanay talaga dito, yung first attack ko nga po halos hindi ko nakita yung bola. And yun nga kasi gigil kaming bumawi kaya hindi masyadong nageenjoy non, parang nakafocus kami sa pagbawi na lang,” said the 20-year-old Belen.

Glad was Belen though that her teammates delivered with replacement Alinsug dropping 13 points built on 10 attacks to go with 11 digs.

Sheena Toring topscored for the Lady Bulldogs with 14, while Alyssa Solomon and Cess Robles were consistent with 13 and 11 points, respectively.UAAP-85-WVB-NU-vs-UP-Alinsug-3 Bella Belen admits being overwhelmed by 'Big Dome': 'First time kasi namin maglaro dito' News NU UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Happy naman ako na si Vange maganda yung pinerform and nung pinasok siya, sabi ko ‘ay okay ito’ kasi sa training pa lang naman po napapractice po namin yung ganito like paano po kapag may off yung game sa amin anong gagawin ng team,” added Belen.

“Sobrang happy po like nung second to fourth set nakabawi po like yung galaw malinis, naminimize ang errors, at naapply yung mga napagusapan naming dapat namin pagtrabahuhan this game.”

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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