LOLO knows best.
University of Santo Tomas rookie sensation Eya Laure grew up as a lolo’s girl. Everything her doting grandfather told her was the universal truth for her.
It was on one fateful afternoon when her lolo told her that they should watch the Tigresses’ training and to look for then, UST star Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, play at the old UST gym.
During that time, the former Queen Tigress was wearing the No. 8 jersey.
“Lolo’s girl ako, so lahat ng naririnig ko sa kanya pinapaniwalaan ko kaagad. Tapos doon ko [nakita si Maizo] and dahil sa kanya naging No. 8 ako. Kasi inspiration talaga siya,” said Laure.
“Sinasabi niya [lolo ko] sa akin na si ate Aiza daw kapag pinapalo niya yung bola nababasag niya yung bola, nabubutas niya yung bola,” she recalled. “So parang ako na-amaze ako na paano mo mababasag yung bola.”
From that moment she dreamt of being like her idol.
However, when she finally got to play for the UST girls’ volleyball team when she was in Grade 7, things did not turn out as she expected. Her dream jersey number wasn’t available because a senior player already had it. As the rookie, she couldn't ask for the No. 8 and so she settled for the No. 10, instead.
Another disappointment was that she could not play the same position as her idol, who was an opposite spiker, because she was tasked to be a setter.
“Kasi noong high school ako tine-training ako na setter,” she recalled. “Sa Palarong Pambansa naging middle [blocker] ako, naging open, naging opposite [spiker] ako.”
Laure did not complain and just obeyed her coach Kungfu Reyes. Eventually, after trying out different playing positions in high school, she finally got the opposite spiker spot just like her idol.
Eya was supposed to debut for the Tigresses back in Season 79, but due to the K12 program, she had to stay in high school for Grades 11 and 12.
All eyes will be on Laure, finally wearing the #8, when she finally sees action in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball team, which kicks off on February 16.