MANILA, Philippines – Former professional basketball player Eddie Laure has no doubt that his daughter will be good to go on Saturday when University of Santo Tomas tries to claim the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball crown.
Eya Laure, the Season 81 rookie of the year, sprained her left ankle after a bad fall early in the third set of Game 2 against the Ateneo Lady Eagles last Wednesday.
The elder Laure needed to carry his crying daughter back to the UST dugout at Mall of Asia Arena, even as he assured her that she can return to the crucial game.
"Sabi niya sa'kin, 'Daddy gusto ko maglaro.' Actually nu'ng binubuhat ko pa lang siya, 'Daddy gusto ko makabalik gusto ko makalaro'," he said.
"Sabi ko, 'Kayang-kaya mo 'yan. Relax ka lang inhale, exhale, makakabalik ka.' "
They iced Eya's left ankle, which had already been heavily wrapped during the game, and gave her a painkiller. Eya returned to a massive ovation late in the third set, but was a shell of her usually explosive self.
"Medyo masama 'yung sprain pero syempre sa kagustuhan ng bata na maglaro, makatulong sa team, pinilit nuyang bumalik kahit masakit," the father said.
UST wound up losing in four sets, as Ateneo forced a winner-takes-all game for the UAAP Season 81 championship. An emotional Eya was subbed out late in the fourth set, when UST was already down by a large margin.
"Mas gusto kong inilabas na din talaga siya ni coach. Para 'yung pahinga niya at di mapwersa lalo. Kumbaga wag na niya pilitin," said the elder Laure.
Eya will have just two days to rest and recover, before they head out to battle again on Saturday.
"Ang gagawin namin, alagaan lang sa yelo, alagaan namin para makabalik siya sa Saturday," the father said.
This is not the first time that Laure has had to take care of one of his daughters during a game. Eya's older sister, EJ, also sprained her ankle during the Final 4 in Season 79, and Eddie was the one to head to the UST bench to wrap his daughter's ankle and pave the way for her return to the game.
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