La Salle's Canino, NU's Belen trade praises after UAAP finals tussle

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
La Salle's Canino, NU's Belen trade praises after UAAP finals tussle
Rivals Angel Canino (left) and Bella Belen
UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – All’s well that ends well between on-court rivals Angel Canino and Bella Belen as the former’s DLSU Lady Spikers emerged victorious over Belen’s NU Lady Bulldogs in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball finals on Sunday.

Though both engaged in antics when facing each other on opposite sides of the net, the two young volleyball stars made sure to quiet the animosity right after with a hug as Canino and the Lady Spikers dethroned NU for the championship.

As celebrations erupted on the side of La Salle, Canino made her way to Belen to talk to her fellow UAAP rookie MVP.

In the post-match press conference, Canino bared that she congratulated Belen for the job well done, and admitted that they were a tough team to conquer.

“Nag-congrats lang naman po siya and I told her she did her best all throughout the season. And sabi ko ang galing-galing nila and pinahirapan naman nila kami,” said Canino.

“Isa sila sa pinakamalakas na team this UAAP. Hanga po ako sa kanila, yun po ang sinabi ko. Tapos, nag-congrats din naman po siya,” She added.

The two rivals bare the unique distinction as the only rookies ever to win MVP in UAAP women’s volleyball.

Belen became the first-ever to do it in UAAP Season 84, then Canino followed in her footsteps this year.

Belen, who was understandably emotional after the finals loss, heaped praise on Canino.

“Deserved naman po talaga niya yung award. Yung pinakita niya this season talagang sobrang ganda from defense to offense makikita po natin na nagtrabaho siya. Yung passion niya nandun naman talaga.” Said Belen. 

“Very proud din [ako] sa kanya kasi nakasama ko na rin po siya before. I know na grabe rin yung sipag ni Angel kaya siguro nakuha nya yung mga awards na yun.”

Apart from Rookie of the Year and the MVP, Canino was also named 2nd Best Outside Spiker.

Belen also commented on the sentiment of some fans that she and Canino dislike each other, especially after the interaction they had during Game 1.

But the NU hitter said that it was just part of the game and that they were definitely friends off the court.

“I think yung gumagawa lang naman po [ng issue] is yung mga fans. Kasi yung Game 1, part naman po siya ng game. Iniisip nila magkaaway agad. Pero sa labas naman po ng game magkakaibigan naman po kami,” said Belen.

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