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Lady Bulldogs hungrier in 2nd round, says Bella Belen

MANILA, Philippines – Expect a more determined National University Lady Bulldogs as the second round goes on in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, as they attempt to put their two first round losses behind them.

After avenging their opening-day loss to the UST Golden Tigresses on Sunday night, former Rookie MVP Bella Belen spoke about the difference in mindset for last year’s runners-up.

“For me naman po, [the biggest change] is yung drive namin na manalo. [The] drive to win the game, kasi every game, need dapat may improvement. So, yun yung nakikita sa teammates ko and sa team namin na kada game, talagang nagiimprove [na] kami,” said Belen, who finished with a triple-double of 24 points, 13 excellent digs and 10 excellent receptions vs UST. 

“Nung La Salle [game], natalo man kami, nakita namin na nagimprove kami and dinadala namin yun every game and tinitignan namin kung ano yung dapat pa naming iimprove which is nagagawa namin so feeling ko po, yun nga, yung mindset din ng team, mas intact ngayon, mas gusto naming manalo ngayon,” she added.

Of course, it’s not just about mindset. But the way that the Lady Bulldogs have accepted the challenge, after absorbing two losses in the second round, is surely a step in the right direction.

Raring to make a return to the finals for the third straight year, and wanting to regain the crown from rivals La Salle, NU is willing to do whatever it takes to keep their momentum going.

“Ngayon, parang yun nga, sobrang clear nung goal sa amin na kahit anong gawin namin, or kung ano pagawa samin ng coach namin, tanggap lang kami nang tanggap para pagdating sa game, ‘di na kami mahirapan,” said Belen.

Belen knows it’ll take more than just herself to lead the Lady Bulldogs to victory. Fortunately for her, she has more than capable teammates by her side, saying she trusts them no matter what.

“Ako po kasi, naniniwala ako sa teammates ko. Katulad kanina, kunwari, every time na nakakapoint yung UST sa amin, lagi ko lang sinasabi sa teammates ko na magtiwala lang sila, na pusuan lang namin yung game and yun nga, kasi, kilala ko na po sila eh, matagal ko na po silang kasama,” she said. 

“Yung mga iba ko ring teammates na