Same fate? Maru Banaticla hopes Eya Laure caps rookie season as UAAP champion

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 12 2019 12:05 AM

Same fate? Maru Banaticla hopes Eya Laure caps rookie season as UAAP champion 1
Photo from Maruja Banaticla's Twitter account

MANILA, Philippines -- Maruja Banaticla entered her collegiate career in UAAP as a champion but it was the last golden performance of the UST Tigresses in the league. 

Nine years after the last championship of UST, the Espana-based volleybelles are on the verge of ending a title drought after crushing the Ateneo Lady Eagles in Game 1 of Season 81 volleyball Finals, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20 on Saturday. 

At the helm for the Tigresses were the 1-2 punch Sisi Rondina and super rookie Eya Laure, who both ended the elimination round as the top scorers and hitters of the league. 

While Banaticla praised Rondina’s impeccable performance, she singled out Laure as the girl she sees herself way back her rookie year. 

Both Laure and Banaticla came from the successful squad of the UST Junior Golden Tigresses and the expectations from them coming to the collegiate ranks were high. 

“Kasi when I started in college ganoon din eh. Ganun ‘yung expectation. I’m not saying katulad ng kay Eya exactly. As a rookie rin kasi, I’m playing [back]then [for the championship],” Banaticla said after the match at Araneta Coliseum. 

Laure lived up to the hype she received before entering college, finishing the 14 games as the second leading scorer of UAAP and the top attacker. She is poised to receive the Rookie of the Year award on Wednesday. 

Banaticla hopes that their fate has the same alignment -- that, Laure will fulfill her promise to bring back the long lost glory of the Tigresses in the UAAP volleyball. 

“I’m hoping it will really be the same, na ma-straight ‘yung championship [series]. I hope this season makuha natin ‘yung championship,” Banaticla said. 

Meanwhile, the former Tigress was not surprised on her team’s victory but admitted she did not expect it to be quick. 

“I wasn’t expecting that in straight sets siyempre given na Ateneo is really fighting so hard to get this championship. Pero sobrang saya talaga,” she said. 

“‘Yung confidence nila nandoon. ‘Yung confidence is big factor para makapag-perform ng maayos. I think everybody contributed well in terms of spike, blockings, defense. ‘Yung service lang hindi pa masyadong [okay].”

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