by Kristel Satumbaga
Rookie of the Year Eya Laure vows to come back stronger for University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Saturday’s Game 3 of their UAAP women’s volleyball finals against Ateneo at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Laure, who named as the season’s best freshman, admitted she wasn’t the same after returning to court late in the third set of the Tigresses’ 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 25-15 defeat due to a mild left ankle sprain sustained moments earlier from an awkward landing.
In a video footage, Eya can be heard sobbing and pleading to come back inside the court as her father, former basketball pro, Eddie Laure, was carrying her to the dugout.
“Pinilit ko talaga na bumalik pero wala eh, kinapos na. Masakit na talaga (I tried to come back but it was still hurting),” said Eya.
Tied at one set apiece, Eya’s absence for most parts of the third frame enabled Ateneo to regain their composure to turn things around and force a deciding Game 3.
Eya, however, said she would do whatever it takes to recuperate for the all-important match, knowing that her teammates needed her in destroying Ateneo’s sturdy defense led by triple towers Bea De Leon, Kat Tolentino and Maddie Madayag.
“Marami namang nagmo-motivate sa’kin before, during and after the game kaya hindi ako nawawalan ng pag-asa. Hindi ako nada-down (A lot of people were motivating me so I’m not losing hope),” Eya said.
“Sabi nga ni coach Kungfu (Reyes), yung mga pagkukulang namin sa game na to, pagtatrabahuhan namin (Coach also said whatever shortcomings we made in this game, we’ll work it out),” she added.