Mhicaela Belen is a history maker, becoming the first-ever rookie MVP in UAAP women’s volleyball history.
She has also led National University to its first championship in 65 years and in a sweeping 16-0 fashion.
And now, her first wish after months of being locked up in a bubble setup, has just been turned into reality.
“Ay, may kwento po ako! Before training (for Game Two), naka-video call ko si Ran [Takahashi of Japan]. Lamang na po ako sa pila! May tickets na po ako for VNL sa 24, 25, 26,” said Belen moments after winning the Lady Bulldogs’ first title since 1957.
“Sabi ko nga po, ‘di ako papayag na umalis sila ng Philippines na wala akong picture!”
On Sunday, Belen was one happy girl as she had photos with Ryujin Nippon’s Takahashi, and not only him, but also Yuji Nishida and Yuki Ishikawa.
The rookie MVP admires the play of Japan, including the women’s team, and loves to learn from one of the world’s best.
“I really love Japan team po hindi lang men’s pati na din po women’s sadyang nagkasabay lang po ang season namin sa women’s,” Belen told Tiebreaker Times.
“The way they play po kasi really inspires me to be better pa po kaya I’m so happy na I was able to watch them live.”
And in the brief encounter she had with Takahashi last Friday, the first time she watched Volleyball Nations League here in Manila, Belen was able to have a quick chat with her idol.
In Japan’s win against Italy that day, Takahashi fell hard on his back as his foot got entangled with the net during a spike attempt but was able to get up and shrug it off.
“Noong nag meet po kasi kami ‘yun ‘yung game na bumagsak si Ran so nung nagka-chance ako I asked him if he’s okay po and sabi niya he’s okay naman then laugh,” said Belen, obviously still in a high with the meeting.
“I’m super kilig po talaga to the highest level!! They’re so nice po and always smiling!”