Eya Laure delivers on promise, helps Sisi Rondina lead UST to Final Four
MANILA, Philippines—Eya Laure entered the collegiate program of University of Santo Tomas with a lot of hype.
She was a one-time high school MVP, a Rookie of the Year, a Best Attacker, a Best Setter, and a two-time Best Opposite Hitter, needless to say Laure had the chops.
Laure, however, moved up to the seniors’ team not as the main star but with a promise to help Cherry Rondina reach the pinnacle of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
The rookie promised Rondina that she would help lead the team to the Final Four, and possibly the championship, playing as the second fiddle to the fifth-year superstar.
And Laure stayed true to her word after the Golden Tigresses clinched a Final Four spot Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“I’m happy because I kept my promise to Ate Sisi,” said Laure in Filipino after UST thrashed Far Eastern University, 25-23, 25-18, 25-23. “We’re taking this step by step. We’re aiming for the Final Four and we’re not in a rush.”
UST officially clinched a spot in the semifinals when National University stunned University of the Philippines in the first of the two Sunday games 25-21, 26-24, 17-25, 23-25, 17-15.
The Lady Maroons crashed out of the Final Four race after dropping to a 6-7 card while UST got to third seed at 9-4 while FEU is at fourth at 8-5.
Laure, who had 17 points against the Lady Tamaraws, said it’s not just Rondina whom she and the other players are dedicating their games for.
There’s also graduating libero Rica Rivera, injured sophomore and Season 80 Rookie of the Year Milena Allesandrini, and even Laure’s older sister EJ who sat out Season 81.
“This is for the UST community, for Ate Sisi, Ate Rica, Ate Milena, Ate EJ, everyone who’s not with the team right now and who will graduate after the season,” said Laure.
Laure added that they should not settle even if they’ve reached the Final Four and they will prepare harder ahead of the semifinals where one slip and everything will be wasted.
“Of course the Final Four is a whole different playing field, so we won’t settle just because we qualified,” said Laure. “We’ll do our best to build our character so that we won’t be overwhelmed with the atmosphere.”
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