Eya Laure fights through pain, lifts UST in emotional Final Four win
MANILA, Philippines—A bum leg wasn’t going to stop Eya Laure from delivering her best game in her first collegiate year.
Laure hurt the back of her left knee in the third set of University of Santo Tomas’ Final Four game against De La Salle in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Hobbling and all, Laure fought through the pain and delivered an inspiring 25-point performance in UST’s five-set victory, 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10, to advance to its first finals series in eight years.
“Coach (Kung Fu Reyes) told me ‘you can suffer through the pain later, play through it if you can. You can shout the pain away later in the dugout, but now if you can fight then fight,’” said Laure in Filipino Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“He kept asking me, ‘Can you still play?’ And I thought to myself that I’m already here why would I leave? My teammates might need me and if I baby this pain then what would I have contributed for my team?”
Laure’s gutsy performance was reminiscent of older sister EJ’s play in the Season 79 Final Four when the Golden Tigresses lost to La Salle, 25-14, 25-20, 24-26, 25-13.
Unlike her sister though, Laure was able to lead UST to a stunning win.
Laure put UST in match point, 14-10, with an off-the-block kill then followed it up with a crosscourt attack to seal the victory.
“I saw my teammates fighting when I was treated at the sideline and I saw how hard they were fighting,” said Laure. “Of course I want to be with them on the court to fight for UST with them.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.