The Lady Bulldogs have their eyes set on one goal this season.
A brand-new UAAP season is upon us and no team is more excited than the NU Lady Bulldogs.
NU is coming off its heartbreaking Season 85 Finals loss to the DLSU Lady Spikers, derailing the team's hopes of a repeat after a dominating run in Season 84.
But with a fresh start, the Lady Bulldogs are out to prove that they are still the top dogs of the league.
Head coach: Norman Miguel
Key losses: Jennifer Nierva, Princess Robles, Joyme Cagande
Key returnees: Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon, Camilla Lamina, Erin Pangilinan
Season 85 record: 11-3 (Runner-up)
Familiarity will be the key for the Lady Bulldogs.
Despite losing key players in Jennifer Nierva, Princess Robles, and Joyme Cagande, NU’s core remains firmly intact.
[ALSO READ: For the culture: Erin Pangilinan takes challenge of building up NU as true UAAP contender]
While it will be Erin Pangilinan leading the ship for the Lady Bulldogs, the focus remains on superstar Bella Belen, who is excited to have essentially the same team that she won a championship with back in high school.
“Yung nag-laro kasi nung high school sa amin is same team na mag-lalaro ngayon sa Season 86, so I'm very happy kasi kilala ko na 'yung mga teammates ko and siguro grabe nalang 'yung gigil namin ngayon na makabawi and na mabalik samin 'yung korona,” Belen told One Sports.
“Tatrabahuin namin. Hindi siya magiging madali pero alam naman ng bawat isa sa amin kung ano 'yung goal namin, kung ano 'yung dapat naming trabahuin,” she added.
With high expectations set for the Lady Bulldogs, Belen is more than confident that the team can once again live up to the hype, especially after gaining more experience while representing the Philippines during the 2023 Southeast Asia Volleyball League.
“Siguro dahil nag-national team kami nung last year, dadalhin namin lahat ng natutunan namin,” said Belen. “Siguro gagawin namin, one step at a time lang, hindi namin mamadiliin, mag-stick lang kami sa goal namin, and ibibigay namin 'yung best namin.”
Could NU’s revenge tour come to fruition this Season 86? We’ll find out soon enough.