MANILA, Philippines—Rookie Eya Laure channeled a popular line from a blockbuster film when asked about her mindset regarding University of Santo Tomas’ showdown against De La Salle University on Wednesday afternoon.
“Noong huddle pa lang, sa dugout pa lang, ni-remind na sa amin nga ni coach na parang, whatever it takes, ayun. Whatever it takes,” said Laure, parroting the tagline of “Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame.”
“Whatever it takes, ’yun lang ’yung parang kumbaga ginamit namin sa game na ito. Whatever it takes, gagawin namin lahat talaga,” she said, with emphasis.
The Golden Tigresses embodied that mantra against La Salle, as they shocked the defending champions 25-14, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19 to secure the No. 2 seed in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
In the process, they gained a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final 4 for the first time since Season 73, when players such as Aiza Maizo, Rhea Dimaculangan, and Maika Ortiz were starring for the Golden Tigresses.
Laure made those iconic players proud with her performance against La Salle. The rookie unloaded 17 points on 15 kills, and showed no fear in crunch time; she also scored the final point of the first, second, and fourth sets for UST.
For Laure, credit has to go to their seniors who kept the team together throughout the game. After a comfortable win in Set 1, the Tigresses had to go through the wringer in Set 2, then dropped a close third set before recovering in the fourth frame.
“Malaking factor na ’yung mga senior namin, andyan sila na nagga-guide sila sa amin all throughout the game,” said Laure. “Kahit magka-error kami, bukod kila coach, andyan sila, kung sino na ang mga kasama namin sa loob ng court. Mino-motivate nila kami.”
Laure’s form dipped in the third set, and it was her attack error that handed La Salle the win. But Rondina was there to lift up her spirits.
“Sabi nga sa akin ni ate Sisi noong nawawala ako, ‘Kilala kita, kilala mo rin ang sarili mo, kung paano ka bumalik. So ’wag mong walain ’yun.’ Kasi kahit naman andyan siya, nagtitiwala nga siya sa akin,” she noted.
“Malaking factor, kasi ’yung captain ball ko, nagtitiwala siya despite na may mga mistakes akong nagagawa sa loob ng court.”
The job is not yet done for the Tigresses. They play La Salle again on Sunday, this time at the Mall of Asia Arena, eyeing another victory that will send them to the Finals for the first time since Season 73.
Laure says they will cling to the same mindset that brought them success on Wednesday’s playoff game.
“Mindset ko is ’wag lang maging complacent sa kung ano yung meron. Kasi kumbaga, anytime kung mag-relax kami, pwedeng mawala ito,” she pointed out. “So in order para makapasok sa next naming goal, is maging consistent, ’wag maging complacent, ’wag mag-relax, mag-tiwala sa sarili, mag-work hard pa as a team lalo na sa training.”
“And ’yun, whatever it takes. Whatever it takes, ganoon talaga. Gawin talaga ’yung best, ’yun talaga,” Laure said.
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