The Phoenix’s anticipated rise from the ashes will have to wait.
This is what spiker EJ Laure confirmed to Volleyverse Friday regarding her supposed comeback for the UST Tigresses in the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball tournament.
“Hindi muna ako makakabalik this Season 81,” Laure shared via text message.
The Season 77 Rookie of the Year last saw action for the España-based squad in Season 79 wherein she helped push the Tigresses back to the Final Four after a four-year absence.
She was then sidelined in 2018 due to a shoulder injury—a blow huge enough to partly cause UST to spiral out of the post-season again with a seventh place finish.
This time, however, Laure’s absence is out of respect for her teammates who have been training and joining tournaments left and right all year.
“Matagal na din kasi sila nagte-training na magkakasama. Buong off-season pinaghahandaan nila ‘yung UAAP. Kundisyon sila lahat tapos ako hahabol lang? Parang unfair din ‘yun sa kanila,” shared the outside hitter.
In her stead, Laure’s younger sister, Eya, is set to debut in the collegiate level alongside the graduating Sisi Rondina, sophomore Milena Alessandrini, and a mix of rookies and veterans with Kung Fu Reyes still at the helm.
On UST’s packed wing spiker positions, Laure commented: “Puno din kasi talaga ang line-up ngayon lalo sa pwesto na pwede ako. Nandiyan sila Sisi at Milena sa outside hitter position. Si Eya naman sa opposite. Tapos may mga bata pa na promising din.”
“May plano din si Coach Kung Fu panigurado. So kumbaga, tiwala lang,” she added.
The UST Golden Tigresses are currently in a training camp in Baguio as part of their preparations for the UAAP which will kick-off on February 16.