UST star Eya Laure mulls future after UAAP Final Four exit
MANILA, Philippines—Eya Laure is still unsure if she will return for her final year with University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.
Laure left everything on the floor with 15 points, 12 digs, and 11 receptions but it wasn’t enough to extend UST’s campaign in Season 85, losing to La Salle, 24-26, 22-25, 25-20, 19-25, on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Time will tell kung ano yung para sa akin. Ayoko kasi magmadali, gusto ko i-open lahat ng doors muna ngayon at makikinig ako and of course, ngayon kung ano yung state ng team ngayon,” said Laure, the tournament’s top scorer for the past two seasons. “Siyempre nandoon pa rin yung part sa puso ko na syempre gusto ko pang mag-laro. Sabi ko nga kanina, kung meron akong playing year hanggang Season 100, bakit naman hindi, di ba? Pero siyempre kailangan mag-move forward pa lagi sa buhay.”
“Ngayon, wala akong binibigay na answer. Gusto ko lang muna ng time, ng time ulit and mag-recover kung ano ‘man yung condition ng katawan ko ngayon,” she added.
(Time will tell what’s next for me. I don’t want to rush anything. I want to open my doors and listen. Of course, part of me wants to play but we also have to move forward in life. I can’t give an answer right now because I want to rest and recover.)
If she decides to go, the 24-year-old outside spiker is confident that UST will continue to contend without her thanks to a promising core to build on for the next seasons to come.
“Sa mga next generations, I think, nandoon yung sinimulan ni Ate Sisi na nasabi ko rin sa mga bata. I think naman kung yung time na umalis ako sa university, alam naman nila kung ano yung gusto kong i-instill as a player and as an individual,” Laure said. “Kung paano magmahal yung UST at kung paano maglaro para sa UST.”
(For the next generations, I think I was able to pass what Ate Sisi started. I think when the time comes that I’ll leave the university, they know what I want them to instill as a player in loving UST.)
Laure turned emotional looking back on her collegiate journey that started with a Finals run with Sisi Rondina when she won the top rookie in Season 81 last 2019 but lost to Ateneo in the finals.
The former girls MVP from UST high school played with her sister EJ in 2020 but the season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. She and the Tigresses placed fourth last year and took her time before deciding to come back this season.
“Coach KungFu (Reyes) and coach Ian (Fernandez) were huge factors in who Eya Laure has become. I won’t let go of all the learnings I got from them and I will bring it forever,” said an emotional Laure in Filipino.
UST coach KungFu Reyes said the team will support Laure whatever decision she makes.
“It’s just Eya’s fourth year in the UAAP. It depends on her if she will play one more year or turn pro. We will wait for the next chapter but we won’t force her,” Reyes said in Filipino. “But we have to level up, especially in recruitment. We have to find another talent.“
Despite missing the finals for the second straight season, Laure remained grateful as the Tigresses were able to show a better performance this year.
La Salle returns to UAAP Finals, eliminates Eya Laure-led UST
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