MANILA, Philippines -- University of Santo Tomas (UST) star Eya Laure is still considering her next moves after the Golden Tigresses were eliminated in the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament on Tuesday night.
A 23-25, 23-25, 20-25 defeat to Ateneo de Manila University in the first phase of the step-ladder semifinals spelled the end of UST's season, ending a remarkable campaign for Laure that saw her lead the UAAP in scoring.
"'Yung feeling na natatalo, parang ayaw ko kasi 'yun iparamdam sa UST," said Laure, who had 15 points in the defeat. "Ayaw ko 'yun iparamdam kila Coach Kungfu [Reyes]."
Making the loss especially painful is that UST held leads in every set, including an 18-14 advantage in the second frame where they looked poised to equalize. But they lacked the finishing kick, while Ateneo drew clutch plays from Faith Nisperos and Vanie Gandler to lift them in the end game.
"Lagi kaming kulang. Hindi lang talaga tumama 'yung bandang dulo namin," said UST coach Kungfu Reyes.
With their campaign over, attention now shifts to the team's future, notably Laure's. This is only her second complete season in the UAAP, as what should have been her sophomore year was wiped out in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After serving as UST's captain in just her third season with the team, Laure said she has yet to make a decision on what's next for her career but guaranteed that it will not be one she makes lightly.
"Ngayon, gusto ko munang mag-isip. Pero siyempre, pag-iisipan ko 'yan ng mabuti, kasi hindi naman din madaling iwan na lang 'yung UST ng ganun-ganun na lang," said Laure, who played club volleyball for Chery Tiggo in previous years.
"Ngayon, wala pa talaga akong masasagot diyan," she stressed.
Her focus, Laure said, is on her recovery. The open spiker carried the bulk of the UST offense for most of Season 84, and was not playing at 100% towards the end of the tournament.
"Magte-training, magpapalakas, magre-recover from this season. Kasi 'yung injury… madami naman na ding nakakahalata, pero siyempre ayun pa din talaga," said Laure. "Kailangan kong mag-rehab, strengthening, and mas magpalakas pa ng katawan."
Laure, the Season 81 Rookie of the Year, finished the Season 84 tournament with a total of 287 points (257 kills, 18 blocks, and 12 service aces), while also ranking in the top 10 in spiking, digging, and receiving.