The youngest player on the Philippine team, Mhicaela Belen, has made the most out of her senior debut in the recent 21st Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship in Thailand.
“I am both blessed and honored that I was given the chance to be part of the national team that gave me the opportunity to play with some of the country’s great and respected players,” said the 19-year-old Belen on the eve of the Philippine delegation’s flight home from Nakhon Ratchasima.
“As the matches progressed, I had my fair share of the teams ups and downs but through it all, the experience was very fulfilling,” she said. “To collaborate with the great and best players allowed me to harvest ideas and techniques that I can use to further flourished my volleyball journey.”
The young but fearless Belen, who stands 5-foot-7, shone in Rebisco’s 23-25, 13-25, 17-25 loss to eventual champion Altay of Kazahkstan in the Pool B opener by drilling in 13 points. In the following match, she was held to a single point in an 11-25, 16-25, 16-25 loss to Thailand’s Supreme Chonburi.
But Belen was able to recover from that reality check against the Thai powerhouse, contributing eight points in a 24-26, 25-22, 13-25, 17-25 loss to Iran’s Saipa, followed by a 10-point outing in a 25-22, 17-25, 19-25, 17-25 quarterfinals setback to Choco Mucho
“I believe that there is always room for improvement for someone who is willing to learn and after the recent tournament, I know that my skills set are not yet sufficient, thus, I will continue to work hard to improve my attacks and my defense particularly my blockings,” Belen said.
“Given my height, I need to learn good strategy for proper timing so that I can execute my defense effectively and efficiently,” the product of Nazareth School of National University added.
As she looks forward for her future national team call up, Belen is determined to become a better athlete.
“I aim for perfection and I have passion for volleyball. With competitions to happen in between, I will show that I always put my best in every game. I will continue to grind and seek support and advices on how to better my game and with that, I am confident that I will be another force to be reckoned with. It will be Mhicaela 2.0,” she said.
Rebisco’s campaign as well as Choco Mucho’s in the continental club championship was supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Rebisco, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Asics.