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Eya Laure confident she can play in do-or-die Game 3

Eya Laure of the UST Golden Tigresses is optimistic that she can play in Game 3 of the UAAP women's volleyball finals on Saturday despite suffering an ankle sprain in Wednesday's game.

After an awkward landing at the start of Set 3, Laure hurt her left ankle and had to be carried by her father Eddie Laure to the locker room as play resumed.

"There's still pain but I'm trying my best not to think about the pain," Laure said post-match. "When Daddy was carrying me, I told Daddy that I will return to the game. They did everything that can be done to me but it was still painful."

"We iced (her ankle) and then we gave her a painkiller to somehow lessen the pain," the elder Laure said. "It was a bad sprain but because of her desire to play and help the team, she forced herself to return even if it was painful."

The Rookie of the Year awardee played through her injury and returned to action late in the third period. Laure's inspiring comeback, however, proved insufficient as the Ateneo Lady Eagles dominated the last two sets to arrange a winner-take-all Game 3.

UST coach Kungfu Reyes decided to take an emotional Laure out when Ateneo was two points away from winning the match with a comfortable 23-13 lead.

"She tried to play through it but she can still feel the pain," Reyes said. "I told her not to force it. We just need to move forward since we were already down big anyway."

"I really forced myself to return but we still fell short," Laure said. "Before, during, and after game, I did not lose hope. As coach said, move on. We're going to work on our shortcomings in this game."

Laure looks forward to bouncing back on Saturday, hopeful that the Tigresses can still fulfill their promise of ending UST's nine-year title drought.

"It does not end here, that's why there's a Game 3," she said. "For me, this is just a challenge that we need to overcome so that we can achieve our goal. We will recover and we won't give up just like that."