Over a month removed from her return to competitive volleyball, EJ Laure is steadily regaining her fine form for the Foton Tornadoes Blue Energy.
In their deflating loss to Cignal last Saturday, Laure was one of the few silver linings for Foton. She flirted with a double-double, collecting a team-high nine markers and 10 excellent digs.
Two days later, the 5-foot-9 open spiker was again a reliable offensive force for her club team against PLDT. She supplemented eight points to help the Tornadoes secure their breakthrough win in the 2019 PSL Invitational Cup.
Given her performances as of late, there is no question that the former UAAP Rookie of the Year is relishing her time back on the Taraflex.
“Sobrang happy ako siyempre kasi ilang years ako nawala sa court, so sobrang happy lang ako and nagagawa ko na yung kung ano yung gusto ko,” gushed the elder Laure, who has been playing alongside her younger sister Eya in the same conference.
Laure’s steady performances haven’t gone unnoticed as well.
For Foton head coach Aaron Velez, he’s glad that the resurgent spiker has been taking charge for the Tornadoes, who are missing the offensive brilliance of the Santiago siblings.
“Hinanap namin dito ngayon kung sino yung magiging go-to player namin kasi sa All-Filipino, yun yung nabahagi ni Dindin [Santiago-Manabat] at Jaja [Santiago]. So ngayon we are actually experimenting kung sino yung kaya mag-step up at mag-deliver ng ganung opensa,” Velez disclosed.
“I think EJ was able to do that also.”
Velez also acknowledged that Laure still has the skill that once caught the volleyball court by storm despite a two-year layoff in the semi-pro league.
“Nasa kanya pa rin talaga yung court-sense niya. Andun pa rin yung experience. Kailangan lang namin pagtuunan ng pansin yung kaniyang physical conditioning,” he said.
Laure is slowly but surely getting back to her peak shape. Meanwhile, she’s beyond grateful to Velez for keeping the faith and giving her the confidence to deliver.
“Siyempre sobrang thankful ako na binibigyan ako ng trust agad, kasi ngayon pa lang niya ako naha-handle. So yun, binigyan niya kaagad ako ng responsibility and trust sa loob ng court.”