Belen, Solomon and Pepito unsure of joining Alas Pilipinas

NEWLY-crowned University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) champions Bella Belen and Alyssa Solomon of National University joining the Philippine national volleyball team is still up in the air.

The two ace spikers said they will take their time celebrating with the Lady Bulldogs first and consulting the coaching staff and school management before deciding after being named in the pool of Nationals now known as “Alas Pilipinas.” Mmess. Belen and Solomon are among the collegiate stars called up by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) to join the PVL-laden Alas Pilipinas for the Women’s AVC Challenge Cup on May 22 to 29 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Ms. Belen just captured her second UAAP Most Valuable Player plum in three seasons while Ms. Solomon earned the Finals MVP citation. Ms. Belen was also named the First Best Outside Spiker while Ms. Solomon rose as the Best Opposite Hitter, further stamping their status as the best collegiate duo now.

Even back-to-back UAAP Best Libero Bernadett Pepito of runner-up Santo Tomas was also in consideration previously though she’s in for a busy academic stretch, including a practicum as per coach Kungfu Reyes.

Their decision has to made as soon as possible with the tourney already firing next week and should the stars align, they could shore up an already potent squad led by their fellow UAAP ace Angel Canino from De La Salle University, Sisi Rondina of Choco Mucho, Eya Laure of Chery Tiggo, Vanie Gandler and Dawn Macandili-Catindig of Cignal as well as Jia Morado-De Guzman of Creamline.

If ever, this could be the return of Mmess. Belen and Solomon to the national team after spearheading a young squad in the Southeast Asia Volleyball League last year in Vietnam. — John Bryan Ulanday