MANILA, Philippines -- Her experiences in both the local and international level will serve Eya Laure well as she embraces her role as the team captain of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses for UAAP Season 84.
In her third season in the UAAP, Laure has been given leadership responsibilities for a UST team that is eyeing a return to the women's volleyball finals. They got off to a good start on Thursday morning, sweeping traditional rivals Far Eastern University (FEU).
Laure led the way for the Tigresses with 14 points in their 25-23, 25-20, 25-21 triumph. She converted 13 of her 39 attacks, and also contributed nine digs in the game that lasted an hour and 48 minutes.
"Hindi kami bumitaw hanggang sa dulo, and andoon kami para sa isa't isa," said Laure. "'Yun naman 'yung lumabas sa game na 'to, at nakita din natin doon sa game na nagtutulungan din talaga kami."
Laure's leadership was tested immediately, as UST lost starting middle blocker Imee Hernandez to an ankle sprain in the first set. After Hernandez was carried back to the dugout, Laure immediately huddled with her teammates.
She was seen telling them to keep their heads up and smile, and the Tigresses responded by fending off the Lady Tamaraws down the stretch of the opening frame. They rode that momentum all the way to a straight sets win.
"Siyempre, 'yung experience na din," Laure said of her leadership style. "Sinasabi naman palagi sa amin ni Coach Kungfu [Reyes] 'yan eh. 'Yung experience na hindi mapapantayan, basta-basta."
Laure is one of the remaining veterans of the team, and aside from playing regular minutes in Season 81, she also saw action for the national team in the 2021 Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship last year.
While she is the captain, Laure is also counting on the other veterans of the team -- like KC Galdones and Ysa Jimenez -- to share in the leadership duties.
"'Yun 'yung isa na ishe-share sa kanila at para mas mapatatag din 'yung self, maging composed kapag naglalaro. Kami 'yung magpapakalma," said Laure. "Hindi lang naman ako… Madami-dami pa din naman kami na mga natira from Season 81 and 82."
The Tigresses will be back in action on Saturday against University of the East.