MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas (UST) head coach Kungfu Reyes is reasonably confident that high school star Eya Laure will move up to the senior team and join her older sister, EJ, with the Tigresses.
Laure, the MVP of the UAAP Season 78 girls' volleyball tournament and a former Best Attacker and Best Setter as well, is one of the most sought-after recruits this year, thanks in part to her ability to play multiple positions.
However, she is already training with the Tigresses, and Reyes believes UST stands a good chance of keeping her.
"Mas mababa na 'yung percentage na kakalabanin niya ang ate niya," Reyes told reporters following UST's last game of Season 78, a four-set loss to University of the Philippines.
"Kung ikaw 'yung ate, nabubugbg ka, lilipat ka pa ba sa kabila, para bugbugn mo ulit ang ate mo? Ganoon lang 'yun. Alam mong nahihirapan na ang kapatid mo, ayun, Filipino culture – nahihirapan ang kapatid mo, tulungan mo," he stressed.
"'Yun ang panghahawakan namin."
Reyes still remains unsure if the younger Laure will even be eligible to play in Season 79, due to the intricacies of the K-12 program.
"Kung pwede na sa college, why not?" he said. "Pero kung hindi, sa akin muna siya sa high school."
"But I guess, wala naman sa plano ni Eya na kalabanin ang ate niya," he stressed.
The older Laure, who was the Rookie of the Year in Season 77 and then served as UST's captain in Season 78, said she is leaving the decision up to Eya.
"Di ko pa po sure, kasi depende rin kay Eya ang decision," EJ said. "Wala naman s'yang sinasabi, pero nag-t-training s'ya sa amin."
EJ, however, pointed out that UST offers her younger sister an advantage that other schools simply cannot.
"Sinasabi ko naman sa kanya na mas maganda 'pag sa UST, kasi siyempre, magkasama kami," she said. "Parang noong high school – teammates kami, so mauulit ang pagiging teammates namin."
In Season 76, EJ was the MVP of the girls' tournament, while Eya won Best Setter.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)