University of Santo Tomas super rookie Eya Laure made this vow just minutes after the Tigresses absorbed a painful 17-25, 22-25, 22-25 defeat at the hands of the Ateneo Lady Eagles in their winner-take-all showdown.
Tigresses vow to come back tougher, stronger
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — “We’ll be back next year.”

University of Santo Tomas super rookie Eya Laure made this vow just minutes after the Tigresses absorbed a painful 17-25, 22-25, 22-25 defeat at the hands of the Ateneo Lady Eagles in their winner-take-all showdown.

Laure, of course, was coming off a magnificent season when she won Rookie of the Year honors and helped reigning MVP Sisi Rondina and her team of overachieving Tigresses reach the finals despite having to play with eight neophytes and Fil-Italian hitter Milena Alessandrini shut down four games into the season due to a knee injury.

 They fell one game short though.

It didn’t hep that Laure wasn’t the same in Game 3 after she lost her old spring from a left ankle injury she sustained in Game 2.

“She wasn’t 100 percent. Her jump didn’t have the same twist as before. But she showed heart and that I can’t question,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes of Laure.

Reyes said Ateneo relied on its championship experience.

“The lack of experience showed in our rookies. But the good side, the rookies will bring this experience for next season and the years to come,” said Reyes.

Reyes said he was proud of what the team has achieved, coming one game close from stealing the title from a seventh-place finish the year before.

“We tried our best to win it but we just fell short,” said Reyes. “We had a great run this season. Nobody expected us to make it to the Final Four, much more to the finals. That’s why I’m proud of the whole team and what we’ve accomplished.”

Rondina, who played her final UAAP game, believed UST has what it takes to win it without her.

“They will go far and they have the ability to bounce back. I will miss all of them,” she said.

As Laure, Rondina, Reyes and the rest of the Tigresses left the arena, their throng of fans cheered them on – somehow   easing the pain of a shattered dream.

NOTES: Scalpers made a killing selling Game 3 tickets on Twitter via bidding with prices soaring to as high as P20,000 for patron tickets from its face value of P400 to P500 on the eve of the deciding game. …. Even general admission tickets, which cost P75 to P80, were being sold from P350 to P1000. … Scalpers also allegedly peddled tickets on the ground, selling them four times as much to buyers who patiently queued for hours in front of the MOA Arena ticket booths hoping to snare a ticket or two. … The series turned out one of the most watched finale as it drew 17,682 paying patrons in Game One, 19,762 in Game Two and 21,347 in the decider. … Alyssa Valdez, who played for UST in high school and Ateneo in college, was present but insisted she cheered for both teams. Popular alumni were also present like Jia Morado, Denden Lazaro, Charo Soriano, Dzi Gervacio and ex-coach Tai Bundit from Ateneo. Maruja Banaticla, Odgie Mamon, Alex Cabanos and Vilet Ponce de Leon were also present. Celebrities like actress Angelica Panganiban and top dermatologist Vicki Belo also cheered for their respective teams. Panganiban is an avid Alyssa Valdez fan and rooted for the Lady Eagles while Belo is a self-professed fan of Eya Laure  of UST. Rookie Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers watched Game 3 and was awed by the packed crowd. He was accompanied by Dino Laurena, ABS-CBN’s head of Integrated Sports.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS
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