UST’s depleted state fuels Eya Laure ahead of UAAP Final Four
MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas finished the elimination round of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament with a 10-4 record which is currently the third best team in the ladder.
The Golden Tigresses also returned the Final Four after missing the Season 80 semifinals despite having a depleted team.
Star rookie Eya Laure, though, treats her team’s limited lineup as a source of motivation for UST’s semifinals matchup against defending champion De La Salle.
“I’ll use their absences as a motivation because it’s also a factor and I wish that they’re here with us, but here we are,” said Laure in Filipino after UST’s win over National University, 27-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-16, Saturday at Filoil Flying V Center.
Season 80 Rookie of the Year Milena Alessandrini played just four games for the Golden Tigresses after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee while middle blocker Tin Francisco is also out with the same injury.
There’s also Laure’s older sister and Season 77 Rookie of the Year EJ Laure, who sat out Seasons 80 and 81 due to injuries.
“This season is for Ate Sisi (Rondina), the coaching staff who’s always supported us, and for those who always believed in us,” said Laure. “This is also for Ate Milena, Ate Tin.”
Laure added she wants to help UST rise from a dismal Season 80 campaign wherein the Golden Tigresses finished seventh with a 4-10 card.
“Last season everyone was really downtrodden and it pains me to see it because I see all the hard work and sacrifices,” said Laure, who didn’t play for two UAAP seasons due to the implementation of the K-12 education system.
Laure, despite not playing in the UAAP for Seasons 79 and 80, still trained with the high school team in 2017 and 2018.
“Before they took the floor, we were the ones who trained and I can see their hardships and how hard they get hurt,” said Laure.