HIGH school sensation EJ Laure said she will play for the Tigresses of University of Santo Tomas in the coming UAAP volleyball season, denying talk of a high-profile transfer to another university.
The 16-year-old reigning MVP of the UAAP girls tournament said she is taking up Information Systems at the UST College of Engineering and is in fact trying to make her classes fit into her training schedule.
“Ipapa-change schedule ko po ’yun kasi umaga po ang sched ko, eh, pag umaga po may training kami so ipapalipat ko po sa hapon,” Laure told Spin.ph on Tuesday.
When asked if she entertained thoughts of moving to another university amid interest from Ateneo, La Salle and National University, she quickly replied: “Hindi po totoo ’yun.”
The high schooler made waves as a guest player for UST in the Shakey's V-League Season 11 First Conference, where she outshone some of the college veterans and even eclipsed the other teams’ reinforcements.
But the UST star is staying put as she had promised, despite offers from rival schools which her father, PBA player Eddie Laure, said started coming as soon as she was crowned MVP of the UAAP girls' division.
National University, the same school that lured the Santiago sisters out of UST, was first to inquire about a possible transfer before Ateneo and La Salle made their moves, according to the elder Laure.
“NU actually noong pang awarding pa lang, pag-champion pa lang nila (UST high school), sabi sa akin ni (NU athletic director) coach Junel Baculi, ‘Ed, ano, pwede na ba to sa NU?’
“Sabi ko, 'Sige coach, kayo mag-usap ni Father de Sagun (UST’s representative to the UAAP board),” said Eddie.
EJ's father said La Salle got in touch with him through his manager while Ateneo made the approach through former Adamson coach Leo Austria, who is now head for recruitment at Ateneo.
“Ako naman, as a professional player, ayokong snub-in kahit sinong may gusto makipag-usap sa anak ko kasi paano ngayon kung ako naman mangailangan sa mga school na ’yan na may gusto sa anak ko, syempre give and take lang ba, respeto ba, ’yun ang importante.”
But the pro cager insisted that the final decision was still his daughter’s to make.
“Makikita mo na gusto nila (other schools) ’yung bata," he said. “Pero sa amin nga ng asawa ko, ang bottom line sa amin depende sa anak namin kung saan siya mag-decide mag-aral, suporta lang kami. Basta kung saan sila
makapaglaro at mag-aral ng maayos, doon kami.”
“Binabanggit namin sa kanya, sinasabi namin paano kung offeran ka nila ng ganito. Sabi naman niya, 'UST talaga gusto ko.'”