MANILA – Eya Laure has finally made a decision – and she knew it would break the hearts of the Thomasian community – whom she built a strong connection with for more than a decade.
Laure, dubbed as the Queen Tigress, has decided to part ways with UST after 12 colorful years donning the black and gold jersey in the UAAP – both in juniors and seniors division.
The top scorer of UAAP Season 84 and 85 penned a lengthy and moving goodbye letter to the UST community as she finally confirmed the speculations swirling around for weeks already in the volleyball community.
According to Laure, up to the end she tried to entertain the idea of staying for one last year with the Tigresses but eventually decided to end her UAAP career on Thursday.
“Kaya siguro up until the last minute, I wanted to find a way to play for one more year. Para akong nakikipag-break sa libu-libong tao and my heart is shattering into pieces. Ang sakit at ang hirap mag magpaalam,” Laure said in a statement.
She went on to apologize for not giving UST the UAAP championship after settling for first runner-up in her rookie year and then leading the pack to back-to-back fourth-place finish in the last two seasons of the league.
“Patawad dahil hindi ko naibigay yung championship na deserve niyo. But more than that, salamat. Parang sasabog ang dibdib ko sa sobrang laki ng pasasalamat na meron ako sa inyo,” she continued.
Laure gave credit to UST for all that she has achieved in the sport since she joined the team 12 years ago.
“To the UST Community, salamat at pinakita niyo ulit sa amin ang Sea of Yellow. Walang makakapantay na suporta ang pinakita niyo at lakas ng mga sigaw niyo. Thank you kasi bumalik kayo at nagtiwala sa team. Sobrang mamimiss ko marinig ang 'Go Uste!' habang naglalaro. Kasama niyo na ako ngayon,” Laure added.
“I will forever be your Kapitana Eya Laure. Kasama niyong sisigaw ng Go USTe hanggang dulo.”
Laure entered the collegiate ranks in Season 81 where she helped Sisi Rondina in towing the Tigresses back in the UAAP Finals. She also went on to win the Rookie of the Year and Best Outside Hitter awards.
In Season 82, she reunited with her older sister EJ with the Tigresses but it was cut short due to the pandemic.
When the tournament returned last year for Season 84, Laure single-handedly lifted UST for a Final Four appearance, ending the season as the top scorer of the league.
She duplicated it in the ongoing Season 85 but failed to beat the De La Salle Lady Spikers in the Final Four.
In high school, Laure had already etched her name after winning the rookie of the year in Season 75 before taking the MVP plum in Season 78. She was also part of the champion team of UST-GVT in Season 76.
Laure is predicted to join the Chery Tiggo Crossovers in the professional league but she has yet to confirm the rumors.