Bella Belen (middle) and the NU Lady Bulldogs. UAAP PHOTO

Bella Belen (middle) and the NU Lady Bulldogs. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Bella Belen always makes sure her services are on target, and that’s why she has emerged as one of the best servers in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament.

The 19-year-old rookie on Saturday tied the UAAP record of eight service aces as NU clinched the No.1 seed with a dominant 25-15, 25-10, 25-15 win over University of the Philippines at Mall of Asia Arena.

Belen, however, said she is just simply determined to be on target all the time.

“Lagi lang nasa isip ko na hindi naman kailangan ace. Dapat lang on target,” she said after tying former Ateneo star Dzi Gervacio’s league-best eight aces she recorded in their 25-14, 25-8, 25-16 win over UP in Season 75 on Feb. 2, 2013.

[I’m not focusing on service aces. I always keep in mind that my service should be on target.]

“My coaches always tell me that my serve should not be too strong because there’s a tendency to commit an error, which happened in our last game. So I prepared well today,” she added.

The Nazareth School standout admitted she wasn’t happy with her service in their previous four-set win over Adamson last Thursday. That’s why she made sure her jump serves were on point against UP, unloading eight aces early in the second set.

More than tying the UAAP record, Belen helped NU clinch the No.1 seed with its 12th straight win — its best finish in the final four era.

The former UAAP girl’s MVP admitted she feels a little bit of pressure in sweeping their last two games for an outright Finals berth.

“Maybe (we feel) a little bit (of pressure). But we always remind each other to take it one game at a time and stay consistent with our preparation for every game,” Belen said.

NU coach Karl Dimaculangan admitted the coaching staff feels the pressure, too. But he stressed the importance of “proper mind-setting towards the end of elimination.”

“We have to be ready for our last two games, especially our last game (against UST). Because that will gauge our level and help us to determine what we still lack,” Dimaculangan said in Filipino.

NU tries to sweep the elimination round against Far Eastern University on Tuesday and University of Santo Tomas on Thursday.

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