They're both champions, says dad of Teng brothers
|UST's Jeric Teng (L) guards his brother, La Salle's Jeron Teng (R) in their first round meeting in the UAAP Season 76 men's basketball tournament.|
MANILA, Philippines – Even before the opening tip of the UAAP Season 76 Finals, both Jeric and Jeron Teng are already champions – at least in the heart and mind of their father, Alvin Teng.
Jeric and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers forged a Finals showdown against Jeron and the De La Salle Green Archers on Saturday, in what will be the first championship series between the two squads since 1999.
Alvin, a fixture in both La Salle and UST games since last season, was overjoyed to see the Tigers overcome National University (NU) in the Final Four.
“Masayang-masaya kami as parents,” said Alvin, noting that both the Tigers and the Archers went through their share of struggles on their way to the Finals.
“Unang-una, ‘yung La Salle, adjustment dahil new coach at new system. So, ngayon, medyo gumanda ‘yung teamwork, kumbaga. Nagkakilala na sila,” he said.
“Yung UST medyo nag-struggle, pinaghirapan nila para pumasok sa Finals. Unang-una, si Jeric right from the start, nag-struggle sa injury. Sa awa ng Diyos, naka-balik si Jeric, so nakakatulong siya sa UST.”
Even as he promises to wear neutral colors during the best-of-three Finals, Alvin said that for him, both Jeric and Jeron, have already reached the pinnacle.
“Sa akin, champion sila. Kahit sino ang manalo, sa akin champion silang dalawa,” said the proud father.
Meanwhile, both Jeric and Jeron expressed their happiness at the idea of playing against each other at least two more times.
“Happy ako dahil ‘yung last wish ng brother ko before he ends his college career ay ‘yung makaabot siya ng Finals, and at the same time, mas marami pa ‘yung games na magkalaban pa kami,” said Jeron. “So two or three more games, magkalaban pa kami.”
“Noong bumalik ako from injury, sabi ko, sana kahit papaano, kung ano man ang mangyari sa Finals basta mag La Salle at UST,” said Jeric, who missed five games this season due to an injured shoulder. “Pero siyempre, nandoon na rin tayo, sana champion na.”
Game 1 of the best-of-three UAAP Finals will be held on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.