The Bleachers


Bella Belen delivered eight service aces to pave the way for the National University (NU) in shutting down the University of the Philippines (UP) with a 25-15, 25-10, 25-15 on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.

/ 5 June 2022

The three-set game sweep of the Lady Bulldogs was mainly attributable to the performance of the rookie out of Nazareth School, Bellen who scored s16 points from eight attacks and a record eight service aces.

Bellen’s invincible serve aces tied the UAAP record of former Ateneo player Dzi Gervacio, who set the league-best eight aces in their 25-14, 25-8, 25-16 win over UP in Season 75 on Feb. 2, 2013.

Belen had equaled the record early in the second set, slamming back-to-back aces for a 9-2 margin as NU concluded with 13 aces to accomplish a top seed finish in the Final Four era with its 12th victory, sending UP with a 5-7 slate.

The Fighting Maroons were left devastated and unable to fight back as the team was stuck at 15 points in all three sets of the game.

NU took advantage of the shaky defense from UP as the former fired 36 kills and the latter suffered from 24 errors, and even with the last set, UP gave the win to NU after an outside attack.

Sheena Toring contributed 11 points on eight attacks, two aces, and one block, Ivy Lacsina, and Alyssa Solomon each had eight points, while Cess Robles had seven.

Libero Jennifer Nierva defended the floor with 18 digs and nine receptions, while setter Lams Lamina guided NU with 17 great sets, as the team will face FEU on Tuesday, June 7, 12:30 pm.

UP had no players score in double digits, with Steph Bustrillo leading the way with nine points, but is still ready to recover despite dropping out of the Final Four bid, as the team’s next match will be at 6:30 p.m. on June 7 as well against fourth-placed Adamson.