Used sparingly in previous matches, EJ Laure proves worth in losing cause with Foton Pilipinas
EJ Laure scored seven of her 12 points in the third set. Freddie Dionisio

BINAN – EJ Laure had a chance to play hero as Foton Pilipinas looked to rally from two sets down, but Sarmayeh Bank of Iran spoiled their celebration, 25-18, 25-21, 12-25, 25-22, in the classification round of the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship on Saturday at Alonte Sports Arena.

Laure came off the bench for American import Ariel Usher late in the second set, and the 19-year old outside hitter led the Tornadoes in taking the third set.

Laure, who also suited up for the Philippine team in the Asian U23 tournament last year, made sure to make the most of the chance to play after being used sparingly in the previous matches.

“Syempre kasi parang last game noong ginamit niya ako, parang sinabi niya sa team na binibigyan niya kami ng opportunity so bakit hindi namin gamitin,” said Laure.

“So ‘yun, parang iniisip ko ‘yun everyday na kailangan ko pa lang gawin ang best ko every time binibigyan niya ako ng playing time,” she added.

The hard-hitting spiker did not disappoint with a total of 12 points, including seven in the third set. She filled in well for Usher, who only had four points in two sets. But Laure played down her impact.

“Wala naman kasi ‘di ba parang in the first few sets, parang walang laro, parang off sina Ariel, inisip ko na lang na kailangang may magbuhat sa amin na isa na galing sa bench,” said Laure. “Kasi ‘di ba kami ang nakakakita (ng sitwasyon) sa bench, ginawa ko lang ang best ko for the team.”

Foton Pilipinas was relegated to the classification match for the seventh place against Chinese Taipei on Sunday.

The Tornadoes won only one match, against Kwai Tsing of Hong Kong in the group stage, and lost the next five games. But Laure is still not giving up in hoping to end their campaign with a win.

“Syempre lalaban pa rin kami and syempre gagawin pa rin namin ang best namin,” she said. 

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