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Trust, support key NU victory

BELLA Belen asserts that the NU Lady Bulldogs gave their all in dealing the UST Golden Tigresses their first loss in Season 86 UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.   | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UAAP

National University (NU) is on cloud nine after dealing University of Santo Tomas (UST) its first loss in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament late Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Bella Belen said they marched into battle oozing with confidence knowing that beating the Tigresses will be very fulfilling as they have won their first eight matches in the tournament.

With Belen at the helm, the Lady Bulldogs upset the powerhouse Tigresses with a shocking 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20 victory that put them just half a game ahead of De La Salle University.

Belen dropped 24 points built on 21 attacks, two blocks, and an ace, including 13 excellent digs and 10 excellent receptions.

“Our mindset was, after this game, we shouldn’t have ‘what ifs’ and to give it our all. We became emotional because we really gave it our best,” the 21-year-old skipper said after the victory that served as a warning shot to the rest of the field.

“I just told my teammates that they (UST) don’t have a loss yet, so it’s more fulfilling to win over them.”

Aside from Belen, Vange Alinsug and Alyssa Solomon also stepped up, dropping 18 and 17 points, respectively, while combining for six of the Lady Bulldogs’ 13 total service aces that exposed the Golden Tigresses’ sluggish reception.

“I think the key to winning this game is trust and support, because every time that (Belen and Alinsug) hit the ball, we just tell them to keep on hitting because we got their backs covered,” Solomon said.

“So that no matter how much (UST) blocks them, we can handle it.”

Libero Shaira Jardio posted 10 excellent digs while skipper Erin May Pangilinan converted three of her eight points from 18 block attempts.

Camilla Lamina, meanwhile, ensured NU was firing from all cylinders by delivering 16 excellent sets on top of three points.

“We have many lapses that needed to be corrected, including (efforts) from our scorers that we usually convert into points,” UST head coach Kungfu Reyes said.

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