Belen asserts leader role in Lady Bulldogs' win vs Blue Eagles

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Belen asserts leader role in Lady Bulldogs' win vs Blue Eagles
NU's Bella Belen
UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines -- With their backs against the wall, the National University Lady Bulldogs turned to old reliable Bella Belen to finally notch their first win in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament.

Belen finished with 21 big points, with 18 coming from attacks and three from blocks.

Aside from her high-octane offensive outing, the former Rookie-MVP had 24 digs and 10 excellent receptions.

This was enough for Belen and NU to grind out a 25-17, 24-26, 26-28, 25-19, 15-7 win over the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

After the game, the outside hitter said that she wanted to lead by example for the team.

"In the fifth set, my mindset was, I have to show [my teammates] how it should be, how we can get the set and how I could not show fear. I have to show my trust to the team," Belen told reporters in Filipino.

"I have to show these to them, because from that, my teammates will follow, so our team performed well in the fifth set," she added.

Belen made big plays in the final set, along with Chams Maaya and Vange Alinsug.

For his part, NU head coach Norman Miguel said that the outside hitter's leadership has been evident since the high school ranks.

"Everybody's looking up to her. I know she has some pressure for her but since she is matured to handle it, that's it. I am really proud of her."

NU will try to win its second straight game in the UAAP against the Adamson Lady Falcons on February 28.

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