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Japan training thrills NU spikers

Improving the team’s defensive game will be on top of the priority list of the National University women’s volleyball team as it undergoes a two-week training stint in Japan.

The Lady Bulldogs, the Season 84 University Athletic Association of the Philippines champion, are scheduled to play two Japanese schools during their visit.

Season 84 Most Valuable Player Bella Belen, speaking in The Athletes’ Tribune on Monday, said that they are excited to set up camp from 4 to 18 December.

The Lady Bulldogs are coming off an impressive run in the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-season Championship last Sunday where they swept De La Salle University, 25-23, 25-20, 25-20, for the title at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

“If I remember correctly, we’ll be going up against two schools while we’re in Japan. We’ll play one school in the first week and a second school in the next week,” Belen said.

“We want to improve our defense and be faster on the court. We try to be faster but we haven’t perfected it yet.”

The Lady Bulldogs are no strangers to foreign volleyball as they trained previously with China’s women’s volleyball team last August.

Libero Jen Nierva said she wants to make the most of their time in Japan absorbing the fast-paced offense of the Japanese.

“I’m excited because Japan is known as a defensive team. They’re the best in terms of ball control,” Nierva said.

“We’re going to prepare for the UAAP. We will be training in Japan for two weeks so we really have to maximize the opportunity given to us by our team manager,” she said.

SSL MVP Alyssa Solomon wants to get a feel of the high-octane brand of play of the Japanese.

“I want to develop a faster tempo. I’m really having a difficult time keeping up with the tempo of our open hitters. We’ll try to work that out in Japan,” Solomon said.

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