UAAP Volleyball

UST star Eya Laure willingly takes backseat to rising rookie Regina Jurado

JR Isaga
UST star Eya Laure willingly takes backseat to rising rookie Regina Jurado

TALENT TRANSITION. UST core players Eya Laure, Imee Hernandez, and Regina Jurado at the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 85 Media Team

UST star spiker Eya Laure continues to step out of the Tigresses' spotlight in their early winning start, following her 'ate' Sisi Rondina's mindset to trust rookies like Regina Jurado

MANILA, Philippines – The UST Golden Tigresses are back to their usual contending form as the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament nears its midway point.

Holding a 4-2 record, the perennial Final Four candidates are right in the mix at the top alongside other top dogs like La Salle, Adamson, and defending champion NU.

This time, however, the Tigresses are no longer leaning solely on the herculean production of veteran spiker Eya Laure. In fact, the fourth-year star feels more than happy to take a backseat in the offensive pecking order in favor of other young guns like Regina Jurado.

“I’m really happy. You know that feeling where you’ll just focus on defense while the others take the lead on kills? It’s like my focus is there now,” Laure said in Filipino after UST’s dominant sweep of former powerhouse Ateneo.

“Basically, my mindset is already the same as Ate Sisi [Rondina] where we’ll just defend in the backrow and let others kill in front. What matters is we will rise as one. We will win off our teamwork.”

Against the Blue Eagles, the Tigresses’ bane to their Season 84 title hopes, Laure only scored 10 points, but led the team’s floor defense with 12 excellent digs and 6 excellent receptions.

Jurado, meanwhile, scored a game-high 15 points, hiked up by 3 aces, all coming in UST’s 11-2 finishing kick in a blowout third set.

Asked about her increasing role in the Tigresses’ rotation, the soft-spoken freshman said she is nothing but grateful for the trust given to her by her coaches and seniors.

“I have some learnings along the way and I hope I can carry all of them along as the season progresses,” Jurado said in Filipino. “I promise to do better to sustain their expectations with us rookies.”

Apart from Jurado, other rookies who have done their part in UST’s winning start are setter Cassie Carballo and spikers like Renee Peñafiel, Xyza Gula, and Athena Abbu.

Safe to say, Laure can relax just a little bit more on offense as unlike years past, the Tigresses now have more viable options on that end of the floor.

Teams should continue keeping a wide eye out for UST moving forward, as its youth this time would not necessarily translate to inexperience that they can easily exploit. –

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