Having been on the collegiate radar for more than two years, Eya Laure was surrounded by immeasurable hype entering UAAP Season 81.
But the former Juniors UAAP MVP did not disappoint, playing the perfect compliment to Sisi Rondina and helping the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses reach the UAAP Finals against Ateneo.
The Tigresses were poised to bag the title after taking Game One and winning a set in Game Two. However, UST’s luck tumbled after Laure suffered a left ankle sprain that kept her out for much of Game Two’s conclusion.
She played through the injury in Game Three, but noticeably favored her injured ankle.
However, Laure’s collegiate career started as much of her Juniors career played out: in second place.
Whatever happened, Laure was not going to miss a match in the Finals, even if the pain was almost unbearable.
“Ako kasi, laban lang kung laban eh… Sabi ko na lang baka may plano talaga ang Lord para sa ati. And sabi ko nga, nag-meeting kami kagabi, kaya hindi ako umiyak kaagad noon kung mapapansin niyo. Hindi ako umiyak noon kasi ayokong unahan ng emosyon,” said Laure.
The Season 81 Women’s Volleyball Rookie of the Year is still thankful, mostly because she got to play with Rondina and experience her style of leadership.
If and when she finally takes on the mantle of captain, Laure hopes to bring out the same passion in her teammates as Rondina did with her.
“‘Yung fighting spirit niya na nakita ko yung kung gaano niya kamahal yung UST, sabi ko ganito ko rin mamahalin yung UST,” she said of the Season 81 MVP.
“‘Yung pagmamahal na pinapakita niya kahit may nararamdaman siya, kahit nappaagod na siya, yung leadership na binibigay niya sa amin… ‘Yun ‘yung gusto kong makuha sa kanya para magamit ko sa future games at future seasons pa. ‘Yun ‘yung sobrang bilib ko kay Ate Sisi, kasi ‘yung mga nakukuha niya, kumbaga iniipon niya para mabangon sila sa hirap. And ‘yun, sobrang nakkaabilib siyang tao,” the 20-year-old continued.
“At ‘pag nakasama mo siya sobrang, kumbaga, kung di ko man nakasama ‘yung ate ko, nandiyan si Ate Sisi.”
Laure’s rookie year has come to a close. Now, she looks to continue Rondina’s legacy in the next four years.