May 25, 2024

UAAP: Norman Miguel, Bella Belen wary of NU Lady Bulldogs peaking too early in Season 86

UAAP: Norman Miguel, Bella Belen wary of NU Lady Bulldogs peaking too early in Season 86
NU Lady Bulldogs coach Norman Miguel gives out instructions to Bella Bellen during the team's straight-set win over the UE Lady Red Warriors. Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

After a slow start to its UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball campaign, National University is now trending in the right direction, powered by a five-game winning streak.

The Lady Bulldogs are fresh off their dominant straight-sets win over the UE Lady Red Warriors, 25-13, 25-19, 25-16, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Since their hard-fought five-set win over the Ateneo Blue Eagles, NU has only dropped one set in the four other wins that followed. This was against the FEU Lady Tamaraws last Wednesday, March 6.

But even with the Lady Bulldogs starting to look like the championship team they were just two seasons ago, coach Norman Miguel is still cautious about the team’s health and performance.

“Very careful kami kung paano umangat 'yung performance ng team namin na nasa tamang timing. We always check their physical conditioning kasi importante kasi 'yun eh, 'yung katawan,” Miguel said during the post-game press conference.

“I always check on them kung gaano na 'yung level ng pagod,” he added.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: What's wrong with NU? Coach Norman Miguel offers explanation to Lady Bulldogs' slow start]

NU’s star outside hitter Bella Belen, who produced 11 points to go along with 10 excellent digs and five excellent receptions against UE, is also careful of the team peaking too early ahead of the long season.

“Personally, I think wala pa naman kami dun sa peak. Parang slowly starting pa rin kami sa pag-angat, hindi 'yung biglaan kasi mahaba 'yung season, mahirap na pag bigla kaming nag-peak, so dinadahan-dahan namin,” said Belen.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: All 14 players seeing action vs. UE a testament to NU's team development, says Bella Belen]

With the end of the first round in sight, the Lady Bulldogs will look to secure a huge victory against their budding rivals and defending champion DLSU Lady Spikers on Saturday, March 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City at 2:00 p.m.