This appears on philstar.com
Eddie Laure talks about volleybelle daughters, EJ and Eya.
by rick olivares pic by Arvin Lim
The man with a near-clean shaven plate grimaced. His younger daughter, Ejiya or “Eya” for short, struggled with her first two attacks. Each time the ball was returned to the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses’ side. Another girl with the name “Laure” neatly stenciled in the back of the jersey bearing the No. 9 as opposed to Eya’s No. 8 came over. It was big sister, Ennajie or “EJ” who told her to relax. “Relax,” advised the older sister.
Soon after, the sister act revved up their engines and they had the San Beda Lady Red Spikers seeing double the Laure sisters, who both finished with 18 and 17 points respectively, led UST to a four-set win in their opening assignment of the Collegiate Conference of the Shakey’s V-League at the Philsports Arena last Tuesday, August 3.
The man with the near-clean shaven plate? None other than father and recently-retired pro basketball player, Eddie Laure. “I make it a point to watch all my daughters’ games,” said the Laure in the vernacular. Eddie played professional basketball for 18 years, first in the Metropolitan Basketball Association and then the Philippine Basketball Association where most recently he was with the Mahindra Enforcers. “I get nervous watching my girls play. I think it is better for me to play than to watch them.”
EJ followed her father’s footsteps playing basketball for her elementary team in Cainta. The rough stuff, even in the girls’ game, forced her to switch sports. “I told her that I would support her in anything that she did,” recalled Eddie who wasn’t upset that his eldest child chose another sport. “I want them to find themselves and do something they are comfortable with.”
The father marvels at the growth of volleyball. “I am lucky that my daughters are in the middle of this popularity of volleyball. If they contribute then that’s good. If the sport grows where it provides a future and a job for them, that’s even better. After all, basketball did the same for me.”
While the two elder daughters and the third child, a son, eight-year old Echo (the youngest son, Efo, is only three years old) saw Eddie play in the PBA, they are hard-pressed to believe he was a star for Adamson University in the UAAP back in the mid-1990s alongside Kenneth Duremdes and Marlou Aquino. “They don’t believe that I could dunk the ball,” laughs the elder Laure.
“Millennials,” he jokes.
Eddie however remains devoted to his daughters’ careers. As much as possible, he even watches their practices. “I try not to get in the way but I offer advice every now and then,” relates Eddie who refuses to be a demanding stage father. “You need your kids to breathe and find themselves. I just want them to know that I am there for them.”
Laure hails from Dipolog City in Zamboanga Del Norte. Moving to Manila for his college education, his family couldn’t watch him play until much later. “I understood why but when you’re homesick or missing a friendly face, there is nothing like having family up there who will cheer you and love you unconditionally. I am like that to my children and hope they understand.”
As EJ and Eya are beginning to make names for themselves in collegiate volleyball, Laure has two constant reminders for his daughters. “Maintain your discipline and keep your feet to the ground,” he points out. “I always remind them of that no matter what they have achieved or they will achieve in the future. It worked for me and I played professionally for 18 years.”
Daddy knows best?
“No. Daddy loves his kids.”
Eddie Laure and wife Jovie went back to applauding his kids during their game.