UST's Teng counts blessings as college career ends
Jeric mulls joining PBA draft
MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas (UST) guard Jeric Teng was unable to lead the Growling Tigers to the promised land in the UAAP, but the graduating guard remains thankful after a fruitful five-year career in the league.
Teng and the Growling Tigers made the Finals in his last two seasons, but bowed to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in Season 75. In Season 76, as the first fourth-seed to make the Finals, they went toe-to-toe with the De La Salle Green Archers before falling short, losing Game 3 69-71 in overtime.
After scoring 24 points in Game 3, Teng was admittedly disappointed to once again lose in the Finals, especially after coming so close.
“Everyone’s frustrated, everyone’s sad dahil ‘yun nga, we knew that we were so close na talaga. Nahawakan na namin ‘yung trophy, dumulas pa. Ganoon siya kalapit eh,” he said.
But Teng, a former Rookie of the Year, said he still feels blessed to have played for UST for five years.
“It’s very tough, because when I went to UST noong rookie year ko, sabi ko talaga na I wanted to graduate sana with a championship,” he said. “Siguro, it’s not for me lang talaga.”
“And siguro, sobra-sobra na rin ang nabigay ni God sa akin. When I got injured, hindi ko talaga alam na makakalaro pa ako eh,” he added.
Teng missed five games early in the season after sustaining a shoulder injury in their first-round game against National University. His return stabilized the Growling Tigers, and he eventually led the team to the Finals.
“I’m blessed na nakakapaglaro na ulit ako,” he said. “Bumalik ‘yung kumpyansa ko, ‘yung mga games na nilalaro ko.”
“Yung paglalaro ko pa lang, blessing na siya eh,” he said. “Every game, sinasabi ko lang na sa ma-extend ng ma-extend ako. Ayun nga ang ginawa ni God, in-extend ng in-extend ako. Siguro, sobra-sobra na kung ibibigay pa sa amin ‘yung championship.”
“We started from No. 6 ata, dahan-dahan kami umakyat, so I think we’re blessed to be in this kind of situation,” he added.
Teng is trying his best to look at the bright side, and has repeatedly said that he is happy to see his younger brother, Jeron, win the title for the Green Archers. But he admits that at the end of the day, the disappointment will likely stick with him.
“At the end of the day, siguro when I look back, siguro talagang manghihinayang ako, because we were very close to getting the championship,” he said. “But we made some crucial mistakes, and La Salle won.”
As for what’s next in his career, Teng said he will discuss it first with his family and his manager, although the PBA is definitely in the cards.
“I will have to talk with my family and my manager. We’ll see,” he said, then added, “Pag-uusapan namin kung mage-enter ako ng draft or hindi. Eligible na ako, kasi naglaro na ako sa D-League ng ilang beses na.”