MANILA, Philippines — Eya Laure took matters into her own hands in the fifth set as she lifted University of Santo Tomas past La Salle, 26-24, 22-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-12, in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.
When the Tigresses went down 7-11 in the fifth set, Laure willed her team back, scoring the last four points — including the game-winning block on Baby Jyne Soreno — to prevail in a grueling three-hour and two-minute match.
The third year spiker continued to prove to be a thorn in the side of La Salle as she unleashed 28 points built on 23 spikes, three aces and two blocks as UST scored its third straight win over the Ramil De Jesus-coached team dating back to their back-to-back Final Four wins in 2019.
“Kailangan ako yung huling taong nakatayo,” said Laure, who also had 20 digs and 19 excellent receptions. “Ako dapat yung huling susuko kahit suko na lahat ng teammates ko. Kailangan di ako susuko para makita nila na lumalaban ako para lumaban rin sila. Walang aayaw.”
[I have to be the last man standing. I should be the last one to give up from the team even we’re down. I have to keep on fighting so I can lead by example that no one will give up.]
“Facing La Salle is not easy. Their system is firm and successful. We’re happy to win (consecutive games) against them,” she added.
Besides Laure, who also nailed four straight points when the fourth set was tied at 21, UST coach Kungfu Reyes also drew ample contributions from Ysa Jimenez chipped in 13 points and Camille Victoria and KC Galdones adding 11 markers each.
Setter MaFe Galanza dished out 31 excellent sets as UST bounced back from Tuesday’s loss to University of the Philippines, which it tied in second place with identical 3-1 records.
“I can’t do it alone. I’m happy with the support system of the team tonight. While we were on the court, I was telling everyone: ‘Ang galing mo!’ said Laure, who also scored 28 in their previous game but got a losing result. “I’m really thankful to my teammates. I will trust them whatever happens.”
La Salle absorbed its second straight loss, sliding to 2-2 tied with Adamson.
Leiah Malaluan tallied her career-best 26 points built in 24 attacks and two aces to go with 22 excellent receptions and 18 digs. Jolina Dela Cruz and Thea Gagate had 12 points each, while Soreno added 11.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.