Eya the Sleya is always ready to roar. She always has been.
Ever since she was young, outside hitter Eya Laure has her game face on whenever she steps on the volleyball court.
Her powerful hits and her ferocity has made Laure a true Queen Tigress for UST fans in the UAAP.
(Eya Laure in UAAP Season 85 when the UST Golden Tigresses first beat the DLSU Lady Spikers. Photo (c) UAAP Images)
"Since bata naman, since nag-start ako ng volleyball. 'Yan din 'yung main concern ng coaches, kasi dati para talaga akong galit," Eya Laure shared to One Sports after a training session.
"Kasi siguro dahil nag-start ako from basketball na puro lalaki kalaban ko. Gusto ko, 'pag tumapak ako sa court, alam ko 'yung gagawin ko."
It has been a thing since grade school.
"'Ngumiti ka naman,'" she recounted what people told her. "'Di naman ako talaga palangiti since the start. Basta gagawin ko trabaho ko."
(Eya Laure was a top contender for the MVP honors in UAAP Season 85. Photo (c) UAAP Images)
She has brought that ferocity to the pros, as she suited up for the Chery Tiggo Crossovers in the PVL.
(Eya Laure has become one of the top scorers for the Crossovers. Photo (c) PVL Images)
The younger Laure isn't called Eya the Sleya for nothing, as she constantly delivers the firepower for the squad.
Best Outside Hitter 'yan!
But her fierce game face on the court also drew derisive remarks from some volleyball fans.
Check out the comments from this Facebook reel when Laure and Cignal HD Spikers' Ces Molina delivered staredowns in their fierce PVL Second All-Filipino Conference battle.
"Eya seriously has an attitude even from her collegiate years," one comment read.
"Parang yumabang na din si Eya," read another.
"Masyado naman yung swag ni Eya, parang gusto na ng gulo," wrote another fan.
But the thing is, Laure can't help but turn her game face on inside the court.
She even asked her teammates to give her leeway.
"Sanayan na lang sa mukha ko ate," Laure recounted what she told her fellow Crossovers. "Kasi default face ko na nakasimangot. So hindi ako bad trip agad or kung ano man. Ako lang talaga 'to pagkatapak ng court."
Don't get her wrong, she has smiled plenty of times on the court.
"Tina-try ko naman 'din. Pero 'di talaga naiiwan na lumabas 'yung default face ko, which is 'yun nga, nakasimangot," Laure admitted.
"Pero deep inside, ine-enjoy ko naman 'yung ginagawa ko."
As for those who think she's becoming too cocky, Laure says her mindset is far, far from that.
"As kung sino si Eya Laure, naka-fierce, parang galit lagi maglaro. Pero nagsi-stick naman sa game plan, kung ano sinasabi ng coaches. 'Di naman ako tumatalikod na, 'Bahala kayo dyan,'" she shared.
"Minsan 'yun din yung signal sa akin ng teammates ko na game on na."
Enter the Queen of Swag, Aby Maraño.
When it was announced that the fierce captain of the disbanded F2 Logistics Cargo Movers was heading to the Crossovers, Tyang Aby said she was excited with the energy of the young team.
"Kung nakikita ng mga tao kung paano ako mag-swag, ine-enjoy 'yung mga point, mas lalo 'yung rampa ni Tyang lalo kasama mga batang 'to. Swaggy din 'to," Maraño told One PH's Power & Play.
At beast mode kung beast mode si Tyang.
Eya and Aby are no strangers. They've played together before as part of the Philippine women's national volleyball team.
For Laure, Maraño has been the same kapitana she played with in years past.
For Aby, Eya has grown up.
"Na-surprise ako kay Eya," she told One Sports. "Nakasama ko siya sa national team, bagets pa talaga siya. Sobrang makulit, madaldal. Tapos ngayon, sabi ko sa kanya, 'Dalaga ka na Eya.'"
"Ano na siya ngayon, prim and proper."
So are they going to be one fierce swag team? Yes. Yes they are.
Maraño said they actually spoke about during the off-season.
"Na-excite kami para sa bawat isa. Minention niya, 'Rarampa na tayo, Tyang ah,'" she recalled.
"Sabi ko, 'Ay, yeeesss! Basta pag naka-score ako, rarampa ako. Kailangan makikita kita, sinusundan ako, rumarampa ka din," Tyang Aby said, rolling her eyes upwards in jest.
"Tawa kami ng tawa. Nae-excite ako dun sa moment na ganun."
And Tyang Aby of all people has been the subject of constant bashing because of her swagger.
Laure shared the most important thing that Maraño told her when celebrating points.
"Lagi kaming nag-aagree na bago mag-swag, kailangan maganda muna 'yung piner-perform. Syempre 'di naman pwedeng puro swag lang," she said.
"Syempre, di kami mauuna sa mga ganyang bagay. Kapag inunahan kami, dun lang lumalabas 'yung kung ano 'yung swag na nakikita."
Criticism? Bashers? Tyang Aby just wants to shake it off.
"Ke may gagawin kang maganda or wala kang gagawin, may masasabi pa rin talaga sa 'yo. 'Di ko lang alam kung para saan 'yun, ano bang purpose nila para sirain 'yung laro. Whether sabihin nila 'yun o hinde, eto na kami, tuloy-tuloy na talaga 'to," Maraño said.
"Ganun talaga style namin of playing. Kumbaga, swag is always part of our game and normal naman siya."
As for Eya, she wants fans to know that she's pretty different of the court.
"Siguro, makausap nila ako ng close up, makasama nila ako, siguro dun nila ako makikilala," she said. "As long as nasa court ako, nakasimangot talaga ako. Ready ako sa gyera."
"'Di ko naman lahat siguro mapi-please. Isa lang ang sigurado, at sure ako na mahal ko ang ginagawa ko at passionate ako sa ginagawa ko. Kahit anong mangyari, basta para sa volleyball, gagawin ko lahat."
Eya the Sleya is always ready to roar. She's got Tyang Aby now. And there's nothing to apologize for with the fierceness of this duo.