MANILA, Philippines—The Ateneo Lady Eagles foiled the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses' attempt to sweep the UAAP women's volleyball championship in Game 2 at Mall of Asia Arena, with Eya Laure exiting the match due to a sprained left ankle.
The newly minted rookie of the year landed awkwardly in the third set, and she needed to be carried out by her father, Eddie Laure, as she could not stand because of pain.
Laure, however, insisted returning to the match and did so in the latter part of third frame, but she was visibly in pain towards the last part of the fourth set.
The super rookie, hailed as the best outside hitter, faced the media smiling, explaining that she tried her best to contribute when she returned to the court.
"Pinilit ko talaga na bumalik pero wala, kinapos din talaga. Ginawa na lahat ng pwedeng gawin sa akin pero wala, masakit nga," said Laure, who assured UST fans she will be resting ahead of Game 3 on Saturday.
Laure acknowledged she was surprised to be brought inside the dugout after the bad fall, stressing that she set her mind before the championship series to go all out and do whatever it takes to bring back the volleyball crown to Espana.
"Noong nilabas ako kanina, hindi ako makapaniwala na nilalabas ako kasi sabi ko sa sarili ko kahit ano ang mangyari sa championship na ‘to gagawin ko talaga lahat and noong kine-carry ako ni daddy, sinasabi ko kay daddy na babalik ako," Laure said.
She also downplayed the injury, clarifying that it was just a sprain although painful at the moment, and just needed to be iced and rested in the next days.
"Sprain lang wala namang ano, medyo napasama lang talaga hindi ko nabalik ‘yung paa ko. Actually tinuturuan ako ng daddy ko [ano ang gagawin] kapag nase-sprain pero wala, nagulat din ako kaya hindi ko nabalik," Laure quipped.
Meanwhile, Laure expressed her gratitude to everyone motivating her after the injury, bearing in mind that it is just a minor setback and the series is not over yet.
She said the loss is just a hurdle that needs to be overcome to achieve the UAAP championship, which the UST hoisted last in Season 72 behind then queen Tigresses Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Angeli Tabaquero, and Rhea Dimaculangan.
"Para sa akin, pagsubok lang ‘to na dapat lagpasan para manalo, pagsubok lang ‘to na dapat malagpasan para makamit ‘yung gusto mong makuha and for me naman babangon at babangon talaga kami and hindi ako susuko ng ganun-ganon lang," Laure added.
Laure was still able to scatter 10 points off 7 spikes and 2 aces. However, it was not enough to help season MVP Sisi Rondina, who tallied game-high 22 points.
On Saturday, UST will attempt to close the series with Laure believing that the system of head coach Kungfu Reyes will help the Tigresses beat Ateneo at the same venue.
"Sabi nga ni coach, 'Move on.' 'Yung mga pagkukulang sa game na ito, pagtatrabahuhan natin. Naniniwala ako sa programa ng mga coaches namin, ni coach Kungfu na binibigay samin sa training," Laure said.
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