UAAP Season 81 Final Four: Ilalaban ko na ‘to -- Laure on playing through pain
Mark Escarlote on May 05, 2019 08:50 PM
Dun na lang ako sa side na ilaban ko na ‘to kaysa naman na lumaban sila, na nakikita ko sila na sila lang ang lumalaban. Siyempre, gusto ko na nakikita ko sila na kasama ako na lumalaban para sa UST, na kasama sila -- Eya Laure
Rookie Eya Laure showed great heart and dedication to help University of Sto. Tomas’ cause, playing through pain in three sets for a heroic outing on Sunday that helped the Tigresses break an eight-year Finals drought.
The freshman highlighted her career-game with an inspiring outing to rally the Tigresses to a dramatic 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10, win over dethroned three-time champion De La Salle University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Final Four at the MOA Arena.
Laure, who scored a personal-best 25 points including 21 from attacks, hurt her left knee early in the third set after a bad landing following an attack. She was called for a net touch in the said play and was obviously in pain, dragging her left leg and played with diminished explosiveness.
The Lady Spikers took advantage of UST’s struggles in the next two sets to force a decider.
With the chance of advancing to the Finals – their first of two tries as the no. 2 seed in the Final Four – hanging in the balance, the top Rookie of the Year candidate ignored the pain and played her heart out.
“’Yun lang naman ang sinabi ni coach (Kungfu Reyes) eh, ‘Mamaya mo na yan iinda laruin mo muna kung kaya mong laruin,’” said Laure.
“Sabi ko sa kanya mamaya ka na umaray,” added Reyes during the postgame interview.
Reyes said that he tried to sub out Laure in the third frame but the rookie insisted to remain inside the court and fight alongside the Tigresses.
“Sabi ni coach, ‘Mamaya mo na iaray kung nasa dugout ka na. Ngayon kung kaya mong ilaban…’ Paulit-ulit niya akong tinatanong noon kung ‘kaya mo pa ba?’” continued Laure. “Sa loob-loob ko nandito na ako eh, aalis pa ba ako? Malay mo kailangan din ako ng mga teammates ko. Papaano kung be-babyhin ko itong nararamdaman ko, ano ang parang naitulong ko sa kanila?”
Laure will not just sit on the bench, she wanted to be in the thick of the action, even in pain.
“’Dun na lang ako sa side na ilaban ko na ‘to kaysa naman na lumaban sila, na nakikita ko sila na sila lang ang lumalaban. Siyempre, gusto ko na nakikita ko sila na kasama ako na lumalaban para sa UST, na kasama sila,” she said.
Laure, with all the remaining strength in her in an exhausting match that went the full distance, delivered one of her most memorable shining moments.
The young gun scored five points in the fifth set and fueled the Tigresses to one last push when DLSU closed in at 11-10. Setter Alina Bicar scored back-to-back points before Laure asked the veteran setter for the ball.
“Hiningi ko na kay Ate Alina ‘yun,” she recalled. “Kasi may instructions sa akin si coach nun na, ‘Paluin mo pero sa dalawang direksyon lang kung down the line o crosscourt.’ So alin dun eh nakikita ko na nu’ng nagbaligtad na ng place ng court, natsi-check na ako sa crosscourt kaya tinry ko na down the line. Kaya puro down the line.”
Laure hammered the match point before ending her magical night with the championship berth-clinching down the line hit.
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