Volleyball fans clamored for UST Golden Tigresses team captain Eya Laure to pursue “professional league” after a heart-breaking loss to Ateneo Lady Eagles in the first phase of the step-ladder playoffs of the UAAP Season 84.
The Golden Tigresses bowed to the Faith Nisperos-led Lady Eagles, 23-25, 23-25, 20-25, on Tuesday, June 14, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Twenty-three-year-old Laure finished with 15 points, 17 excellent receptions, and eight excellent digs making her the top performer for the team.
The loss meant the elimination of UST from the women’s volleyball league, which made the fans call for the S84 best scorer to leave the Tiger’s lair and join Cherry Tigo at the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).
In the post-game press conference, Laure said she is still undecided whether she will leave UST or turn pro.
“…Pag-iisipan ko yan nang mabuti kasi hindi naman madali iwan na lang ‘yung UST ng ganon ganon lang,” she said.
One Twitter user believes that another year for UST would be a waste for Laure.
“One more year with UST is another year wasted (wasted only because she can really play on a higher level league and be utilized as a wing spiker sa national team),” the user said.
Another user echoed the same sentiment saying that if there’s no one like Filipino-Italian Milena Alessandrini to help Laure, she should leave.
“If magbubuhat lang ulit siya, go for pro na Eya. Okay na yun. Di kami magtatampo na UST fans,” the user, who appears to be a fan account of the golden tigresses said.
Another user concurred with the tigress fan account.
“Okay na sya mag pro pag wala pa rin syang katulong next season,” the fan said.
Despite the frustrations of fans over Laure solely carrying the team, it should be noted that some of her teammates also contributed points for UST to maintain a striking distance with Ateneo.
Middle blocker Imee Hernandez scored 11 markers; Yssa Jimenez scored nine, while Camille Victoria scored seven.
Although most of the tweets called for her UST exit, one user wished for a championship for Laure before leaving.
“Sana makapag champion muna si Eya Laure bago mag pro,” the user said.
Despite mixed reactions over Laure’s potential jump to pro volleyball scene, Overall, fans collectively admired Laure’s grit and skill.
Twitter user, who appears to be a fan account of NU Lady Bulldogs star Jennifer Nierva, was among those who praised Laure.
“Kudos to miss Eya Laure, she really brought UST to where it is this season. She has been consistent [with] her game since day one and her eagerness to win every game. We [are] so proud of you queen tigress!” the fan said.
As the Golden Tigresses exit the tournament, the Ateneo Lady Eagles will once again face the twice-to-beat De La Salle University Lady Spikers in the semi-final stepladder on Thursday.