UAAP: Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon take their time to enjoy NU title

uaap: bella belen, alyssa solomon take their time to enjoy nu title

UAAP: Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon take their time to enjoy NU title

MANILA, Philippines —After a successful championship run in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, NU Lady Bulldogs’ stars Bella Belen and Alyssa Solomon are both taking a breather before deciding on the next steps in their young and their promising careers.

Belen and Solomon have proven that they’ve been the most lethal dynamic duo in the league for the past three years after emerging as the top players in their positions and the Season and Finals MVP, respectively.

When asked about the possibility of turning pro, both Solomon and Belen, who are 22 and 21 years old, respectively, said they haven’t thought about it yet.

READ: UAAP: Bella Belen, NU get perfect ending after rough start to season

“I actually haven’t thought of that. My only focus was on the UAAP. I haven’t thought about the PVL yet,” Solomon said shortly after NU’s title-clinching win over UST, sidestepping from the question about pro offers.

Last year, several UAAP stars including Faith Nisperos, Fifi Sharma, Justine Jazareno, Trisha Tubu, Louie Romero, and other young guns decided to forgo their remaining playing years and jump to the pros.

With the trend of the clubs directly hiring college players, the PVL has decided to hold the first-ever Rookie Draft, which requires at least 21 years old on draft day regardless of educational status.

UAAP: No-tomorrow mindset fuels Alyssa Solomon to Finals MVP

Belen, meanwhile, said she’s keen on returning when NU defends its title in Season 87 next year.

“It’s a possibility, because who wouldn’t want to stay with this hardworking team? that’s why I’m so happy I was with them throughout my career,” said the two-time UAAP MVP.

Pondering national team stint

Belen and Solomon got a call-up from the Philippine Nationa Volleyball Federation anew to play for the Alas Pilipinas in the AVC Challenge Cup from May 22 to 29 at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

But both players are still pondering whether they will accept the call-up as they recently ended a grueling season and Finals series against the gritty UST.

“We’re still thinking if we’re able to join the national team because we will be joining straight [after this]. Our bodies are looking for rest so we’re still not sure,” Solomon said.

READ: Angel Canino, Bella Belen commit to play for PH team, sources say

Belen also is noncommittal about the national team stint, but she said it’s one of her ultimate goals as a volleyball player.

“I’m not yet sure. I know Ate Aly needs to get her injury checked. We’ll report to school first, then we’ll enjoy our championship for a bit,” added Belen.

“I think that’s the goal of every volleyball player, to be part of the national team and compete internationally. It’s such a proud feeling to see that other people have seen my hard work enough to include to be part of the national team.”

If the NU pair decides to accept the call of duty, Belen would be playing alongside her UAAP rivals including Angel Canino and PVL players, especially Jia De Guzman, who is also the dream teammate of Solomon.

“It’s exciting especially that we get to be teammates after facing each other in the UAAP. We may come from different schools, but I think once we’re in the same team we will click because we’ve known each other for a while and the friendship is there,” Belen said.

“Ate Sisi [Rondina], sila Ate Jia, sila Ate Eya [Laure] and other veteran players are there and I haven’t had a chance to play with them. I could learn a lot from them since they have a lot of experience locally and internationally.”

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