Eya Laure on legacy in UST: Tigreng lalaban kahit sugatan

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2023 09:20 PM

UAAP Media Bureau
Eya Laure sings UST hymn for the last time as part of the Golden Tigresses. UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA – As she moved on from collegiate ranks, University of Santo Tomas (UST) skipper Eya Laure has nothing but a grateful heart for the university which became her home for 12 years. 

Her departure from UST surely saddened many Thomasians – and other volleyball fans – who were wishing to see her don the black-and-gold jersey one last time next UAAP season. 

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News, Laure said she hopes to leave a mark in UST after playing for the Tigresses since she was in high school. 

The two-time Best Scorer of the league showcased how a real Tiger fought inside the court throughout her playing years. 

“Yung tigreng kahit ilang beses masugatan, lalaban at lalaban pa rin. 'Yung hindi magpapa-api. Hindi sasayangin lahat ng pagod, lahat ng sakripisyo na ginawa maibigay lang ang magandang performance. Maipakita lang kung ano 'yung pinaghihirapan sa training,” she said. 

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Laure also learned to embrace the leadership role left to her after Sisi Rondina towed the Tigresses to the finals in Season 81. She was a rookie back then. 

Come Season 84, after two years of hiatus due to the pandemic, Laure was left with no choice but to lead UST -- and she did not disappoint. 

The outside spiker led the scoring table among all players that season and pushed UST to a Final Four appearance. 

In Season 85, she once again paced the Tigresses for another fourth-place finish and top the individual scoring anew. 

All these efforts, she stressed, were always for the UST community.

“Siyempre, 'yung mindset din na killing instinct na bigyan mo ako ng bola. Kahit minsan, itaas mo na lang, papatayin ko 'yan para sa UST,” Laure continued. 

It might be a long journey but it was a happy run, according to her. And it is an experience she will be handing down to her future family. 

“Ito 'yung ibabaon ko talaga hanggang mag-move on ako, hanggang mag-pro na ako, hanggang magkaroon na ako ng sariling family na ‘ito nung time ko, ganito magmahal ang UST,’” Laure said. 

“Sometimes naiisip ko nga na kapag magkaroon ako ng, in the future pa naman hindi pa naman ito ASAP, family – daughter or son – makukwento ko sa kanila kung paano ako minahal ng UST at kung paano ko rin sila minahal pabalik.”

A highly touted recruit in the juniors division, Laure never left the Tigers’ lair after her impressive performance in the girls’ division. 

She was named 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. 

While she had the option to transfer school after high school, Laure stayed with UST in college and played with her longtime coaches Kunfu Reyes and Ian Fernandez. 

“Wala akong regrets haggang ngayon. Sobrang mas thankful pa ako sa kung ano 'yung binigay ng university sa 'kin. Lahat ng mga tao, kila father, yung mga prof ko, mga coaches ko, teammates, friends, classmates, as in lahat. Pati 'yung staff ng UST na inaalagaan talaga ako,” she added. 

Laure paid it back on the court as she was pivotal in UST’s run in Season 81 that ended the finals appearance drought of the school in women’s volleyball.

While they bowed to eventual champion Ateneo de Manila University in the dinals, Laure made her debut grand with the Rookie of the Year and second Best Outside Spiker honors. 

But on Thursday, Laure finally decided to cap her UST journey. She is predicted to join the Chery Tiggo Crossovers in the professional league but she has yet to confirm the rumors. 


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