For Eya Laure, the fight that University of Sto. Tomas showed against the top-ranked National University is proof that the team can go to the next level come the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament step-ladder playoffs.
“Yung nakahabol kami kanina, sabi ko lang na at least itong game na ‘to nakita natin ‘yung capabilities natin ‘pag nag-laro tayo as one, and ‘yung tiwala nandun, [kaya namin],” said Laure, who scored 13 points to go along with 11 excellent receptions and eight digs in the loss.
The Golden Tigresses suffered a 22-25, 27-29, 17-25 sweep at the hands of the Lady Bulldogs in the final day of the elimination round, Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena. The loss dropped UST to the third spot, while NU gained an outright finals spot.
Even with the loss, the reigning UAAP Rookie of the Year is confident that the team will do much, much better come the Final Four. After all, despite losing the match in just three sets, the team showed heart. They put up inspired comebacks during the match that they simply failed to complete.
“Nakikita ko naman sa mga mukha nila na hindi naman sila ganon na na-down unlike sa mga talo namin dati na sobrang lugmok talaga, pero nandun sila, willing sila,” bared the league’s top scorer after the elimination phase.
In the first set, UST was down by five points in the latter part before eventually slicing the lead to just one, 22-23. Unfortunately, Mhicaela Belen and Alyssa Solomon were able to clinch the differential hits. NU moved on with a 1-0 lead.
The team had the chance to even the series in the second set, but yielded to a determined Lady Bulldogs side. Then, in the final frame, Ysa Jimenez single-handedly trimmed a 10-point deficit to just six. However, Princess Robles came in to the rescue for NU.
That, according to Laure, just showed that the team has what it takes to pull off all kinds of upsets in the upcoming playoffs.
“Nakikita ko na willing sila mas bumawi pa sa mga susunod na laro namin, and mas galingan pa, para ipaglaban ang UST sa Final Four.”