While she may have lost out on championship opportunities after leaving La Salle, Eli Soyud has regained her confidence with the Adamson University.
Debuting with the Lady Spikers in Season 77, Soyud barely cracked the starting rotation. The highlight of her season – and what most fans still remember her for – was a huge block on reigning MVP and Ateneo ace Alyssa Valdez.
She managed to win a title in Season 78, but she barely saw the court.
Then after a falling-out with head coach Ramil De Jesus, Soyud was on a crossroads.
Her first option was to try out for La Salle’s women’s basketball team. If that didn’t pan out, she would try her luck with an NCAA team.
The five-foot-eleven opposite spiker got lucky, however, as Adamson University were rebuilding, and the program’s new sponsor Akari caught wind of Soyud’s departure from La Salle.
“Ang nag-iisang school lang na nag-offer sa akin is Adamson kasi no one knew naman na wala na ako doon sa La Salle,” Soyud recalled.
“I grabbed the opportunity, siyempre. Sabi nga ‘pag ‘yung opportunity nag-close na ng door sa’yo, siyempre mago-open si Lord ng another door for you.”
The Lady Falcons did not win as many matches as the Lady Spikers, but Soyud got the opportunity she’d always wanted. After debuting in Season 80, Soyud was a pivotal member of an Adamson team that went 6-8 and fell one win shy of making the Final Four.
Season 81 was a less productive year for Soyud, as she came in having just recovered from a knee injury. Still, she finished the season as the 15th best scorer with 137 points; and also the 10th best blocker, averaging 0.43 denials per set.
Despite not making the Final Four with the Lady Falcons, Soyud is glad she has proven herself a formidable talent.
“Siguro, nabalik ko ‘yung kumpiyansa ko noong naglaro kami ng PVL. Sobrang tumaas ‘yung kumpiyansa ko sa sarili ko. Nakuha ko ‘yung trust ng coaches and teammates ko,” Soyud shared, adding that she had lost also a lot of confidence in her time with La Salle.
“Sobrang grabe ‘yung doubt ko sa sarili ko. Grabe ‘yung… ang daming tanong. Bakit ako nandito? Bakit ganoon? Ang daming questions sa utak ko kung bakit ganoon ‘yung nangyare,” the 23-year-old continued.
“Nasagot naman. ‘Yung mga hinahanap ko dati, doon ko nakita, doon ko nakuha.”
Eli Soyud now looks to the next chapter of her career: joining former coach Air Padda with UP Lady Maroons stars Isa Molde and Tots Carlos, and two-time PVL MVP Myla Pablo in Motolite.
If anything, Soyud is glad she doesn’t have to wait too long to play again, since the Reinforced Conference begins on May 24.
“Siguro, doon ko ire-redeem nang matino ‘yung sarili ko. Doon kasi, for me, less pressure, less ‘yung parang mga iniisip ko.”