MANILA – “Sana soon.”
The only rookie-MVPs of the UAAP women’s volleyball Bella Belen and Angel Canino joined the legion of volleyball fans who are praying to see them together in one side of the court.
During the 2023 Collegiate Press Corps Awards where Belen and Canino were named as the Volleyball Players of the Year for 2022 and 2023, respectively, the two faces of collegiate volleyball said they are open to the idea of being teammates again.
The two open hitters became teammates during the 2019 ASEAN School Games where they finished with the silver medal after losing to powerhouse Thailand in a five-setter game.
“Hindi naman po mawawala sa isang atleta yun na gusto maging teammate yung kalaban niya lalo na yung ganito (pointing at Canino) kagaling. Sino pong may ayaw di ba? Sana po soon,” the NU Lady Bulldog top spiker said.
Canino also expressed the same sentiments, adding that she is looking forward to play with other players from other teams.
“Sobrang honored din na maging teammate si Ate Bella and of course yung other players na nilu-look forward ko din na maging teammates,” the De La Salle Lady Spiker added.
Belen became the first rookie-MVP of the women’s volleyball when she steered the Lady Bulldogs in a historic 16-0 title run – ending NU’s 65-year championship drought.
But it did not take long to have another RoY-MVP in the UAAP when Canino duplicated the same feat just a year after.
She towed the Lady Spikers in reclaiming the volleyball glory at the expense of Belen’s NU.
Their achievement in the collegiate ranks earned them the Players of the Year, given by the sports scribes in the Philippines.
Canino said it was an honor to stand next to Belen during the event, noting that the latter was the first rookie-MVP of the tournament.
“Sobrang honored kasi nauna siyang rookie-MVP sakin. Naging audience din naman ako ng volleyball season 84 so nakikita ko pa si Ate Belen maglaro. Na-inspire ako maglaro kasi syempre rookie and nakasama ko siya nung ASEAN. Nakita ko po yung heart niya. Hard work pays off po talaga so sobrang proud,” she said.
Belen, on the other hand, also threw praises to the reigning UAAP MVP, highlighting how good and steady player Canino is.
“I’m very proud din kay Angel kasi all throughout the season nakita namin kung gaano talaga siya kagaling at katibay. Nakita namin kung paano siya magtrabaho. Nakasama ko siya before ng ASEAN nakita ko talagang may mararating si Angel,” Belen added.
Also receiving the collegiate volleyball players of the year were Mycah Go and Gayle Pascual of the reigning NCAA champions CSB Lady Blazers.