Eya Laure and the Golden Tigresses were just one set away from defeating National University and giving the University of Santo Tomas community its first victorious moment in UAAP Season 82, Wednesday.
But last season’s finalists failed to close out the game, crumbling in frustrating fashion before thousands of supporters inside the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The younger Laure — who also couldn’t give elder sister EJ a triumphant league homecoming — is well aware of how heartbreaking the defeat is. And she even lost sleep over it.
“Last game kasi medyo hindi ako nakatulog ng maayos. Parang sayang,” the 20-year-old outside hitter confided.
“Hindi ko na-explain after ng game kung ano ‘yung naramdaman ko na ayaw ko maramdaman ulit.”
Still, Laure knew from that moment that she couldn’t afford to hang her head and dwell on such a setback.
“Ayoko na ulit maramdaman ‘yung pagod ka na pero ‘di ka pa rin makatulog. Siyempre, masakit naman pero ‘yung masakit na ‘yung feeling na ayaw mo na mangyari ulit ‘yung sa team mo.”
So the young national team campaigner spearheaded UST’s bounce-back effort when the Golden Tigresses collided with Far Eastern University on Sunday.
Laure spared no effort while picking apart the Lady Tamaraws in straight sets. She made her presence felt all over the court, scattering 12 attacks, three blocks and an ace for a game-high 16 points, while collecting 14 digs and eight receptions.
Right after their breakthrough victory, Laure was a picture of happiness. But more than winning, she was elated to see her teammates get back on their feet together.
“Ngayon sa laro na ‘to nakita ‘yung strength ng team namin, na once na mag-usap kami, lalabas at lalabas ‘yung magandang performance sa isa’t isa na makakatulong sa team namin,” she beamed.
True enough, UST played with more vigor. Laure saw seven other Golden Tigresses score at least a point in the rout, while the rest made their impact on other on-court duties.
It didn’t surprise Laure that her teammates performed the way they did. She knew that it wasn’t just her who took the loss as motivation to be better.
“Alam ko sa sarili ko na ‘yung buong team naapektuhan din. Nakita naman sa training na sobrang nagdo-double time lahat, lalo na sa receive,” she shared. “Kaya kahit papaano, gagawin talaga namin at pupunan namin ‘yung pagkukulang namin.”
Laure and the Golden Tigresses look to continue turning their fortunes around. And next up for them is the upstart De La Salle University.
Of course, UST will be putting in the hard work to never experience a heartbreaker again.
“Knowing na matatangkad sila, alam naman namin na magaling sila mag-target. Isa na ding paghahandaan ng team namin ‘yung receive, ‘yung first ball and kung pa’no namin gawin ‘yung variations sa pag-atake,” Laure vowed.