UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas coach Kungfu Reyes was glad to have the Laure sisters EJ and Eya playing alongside each other again after two years as the siblings bring out the best in each other with their complementary skills.
The volleyball playing daughters of PBA player Eddie are reunited in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference for the first time since EJ played her final year in the UAAP girls’ volleyball in 2014 and led the Junior Tigresses to the championship.
Reyes, who handles both the UST women’s and girls’ team, finds it hard to compare the two, especially since they’re not playing in the same position—EJ is an outside hitter, while the younger Eya is an opposite spiker. But instead of comparing them, he focused on pointing out each player’s strong point and how well they play together.
The 19-year-old EJ is more of an offensive player who has won the MVP, Best Attacker, Best Server, and Best Receiver awards in her time with the UST girls’ team, and was even named Rookie of the Year of Season 77 in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament when she moved up to the Lady Tigresses.
On the other hand, the 17-year old Eya plays a more well-rounded game. She was named Best Setter in Season 76 and Best Attacker the following season in the UAAP girls’ volleyball tournament.
“Kung sa positioning, mas lamang si Eya kasi nagse-set, pumapalo, naga-outside (hitter). Si EJ kasi concentrated siya sa outside hitter,” said Reyes.
“Si Eya, kasi from zero ‘yan tinuturuan na namin. Si EJ, dumating na sa amin may alam na kahit papano,” he added. “So talaga si EJ born spiker na nakikita na rin naman namin kung paano siya magperform during drills. Nakadesign na siya bilang spiker. ‘Yung bata (si Eya), since nag-start siya sa amin na walang ka-alam alam, kaya natutong mag-set, pumalo so siya ‘yung latest creation namin.”
Reyes also hopes to see the Laure sisters playing together in the UAAP women’s volleyball even for a year. If EJ opts to maximize her UAAP eligibility, Eya can still catch up with her after she plays six years in high school due to the K-12 education program.
“Walang sibling rivalry na mangyayari. Talagang pag nagtulungan ‘yan, magiging effective ang team so hopefully nga mag-abot ang dalawang ‘yan kahit isang taon siguro kasi backlog kami ng two years sa high school,” he said.
The 36-year old mentor from Lucena, Quezon, however, is hoping that Eya stays in the same school that helped her develop as a volleyball player once she enters college.
“As of now hopefully hindi siya magiging ano namin, ‘yung gumawa kami ng sarili naming kalaban sa susunod. Sana ‘wag ganoon ang mangyari,” he said. “Hindi, hindi na mare-recruit ‘yan, nasa amin na nga.”