In yet another stellar performance, EJ Laure dazzled for UST after dishing one kill after another to punish the hapless defense of Bali Pure Saturday, leading the España crew to 3 wins in as much outings.
For the third time in a row, the former V-League best scorer topscored for the Tigresses, tallying 23 markers, 20 of which came from powerful and sharply-angled attacks that shut down the doors on any possible retaliation from the opponents.
But hidden beneath her impressive numbers and the shoulder support she started wearing at the onset of the Reinforced Conference is a shoulder injury that has been hounding her for weeks.
“Namamaga ‘yung sa may shoulder ko banda. Nagpa-check-up ako yesterday. Naramdaman ko ito after nung semis pa ng PSL All-Filipino pa against Army,” she revealed to FOX Sports.
Talking about playing through the pain during the crucial match, she adds: “Tolerable naman ‘yung pain. Kaya naman. Ramdam mo siya. Sumasakit siya pero pag nasa game ka kasi parang hindi mo na naiisip ‘yung pain eh. Ilalaban mo na lang talaga.”
After a slow start that led to a first set loss, UST, anchored on Laure catching fire in the second frame, assaulted the Purest Water Defenders’ faulty floor defense with the Tigresses scoring 12 service aces while also scoring 26 points off the opponenents’ unforced errors.
As per doctor’s advice, the UAAP Season 77 Rookie of the Year was barred from playing more than 1 game during the weekend, forcing her to miss Foton’s debut in the 2016 PSL Grand Prix.
While Foton barely missed the services of the UST standout in its straight sets romp of F2 Logistics, the Tigresses benefited from Laure’s decision to prioritize the collegiate team.
“Sobrang saya namin kasi nakikita ng mga tao at nakikita na rin namin ‘yung paghihirap namin sa training. Sabi nga ni coach, ‘yun na ‘yung resulta. Lumalabas na ang galaw na hinahanap niya,” an ecstatic Laure shared.
Stepping down right away from Cloud 9, she adds: “May mga lapses pa rin kami. Kailangan pa mag training. Bawal ma-overconfident. Unti-unti lang dapat. One game at a time kami.”
Her naysayers were in unison in saying back in Season 78 that Laure’s level of play has plateaued since her explosive freshman year.
But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Laure soared high anew, proving she is yet to show her full potential and that the best is yet to come.
“Sa akin, halu-halo na ang rason nitong pag ayos kahit papano ng laro ko,” she said.
On her resurgence as one of the top spikers in the UAAP, she closed by saying: “Naglalaro ako sa Foton. Nagte-training ako sa UST. Tapos nagkaron pa ako ng chance maglaro sa international tournament. Tumaas ang kumpiyansa ko dahil dun.” —By Mac Dionisio