Youngster EJ Laure proves her worth with quality minutes in match against Taipei
EJ Laure celebrates a point with idol Alyssa Valdez. Dante Peralta

SUBSTITUTE EJ Laure was glad to pitch in and play alongside her idol during the Philippines' match against against Chinese Taipei in the 2015 Asian Under-23 Women’s Volleyball Championship.

The University of Santo Tomas super rookie scored four crucial points off the bench and made her presence felt on defense in her first significant exposure for the hosts in the tournament.

The UAAP Rookie of the Year said she does not mind the off-the-bench role in the team and worked hard to make sure she delivers when her number is called by Philippine coach Roger Gorayeb.

“Siyempre as a team, kailangan naman nandiyan parati so naging ready lang ako kanina para sa teammates ko na rin,” Laure said after the 25-21, 18-25, 12-25, 19-25 loss to Chinese Taipei on Tuesday night at the Philsports Arena.

Gorayeb later explained the decision to play Laure against the Taiwanese.

“Si EJ, sa puwestuhan, hindi pa niya masyadong kabisado. Nagkaroon kami ng pagkakataon ngayon kaya sabi namin, kaya na niya,” said the national coach.

The minutes she got against Taipei came with an added bonus for Laure, who finally got to team up with idol Alyssa Valdez, like her a former UST high school star who moved to Ateneo for college.

“Siyempe masayang masaya kasi syempre si Ate Alyssa na ‘yan eh,” she said. “Kahit sino gusto maka-teammate siya nabigyan ako ng opportunity na maka-teammate siya sa international (tournament) pa.”

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