The Jeron Teng stabbing: What we know
MANILA, Philippines – A stabbing incident involving Jeron Teng and his former La Salle teammates, Thomas Torres and Norbert Torres, shocked many on Sunday, June 3.
The attack, which started with a brawl, ended with the players sustaining multiple stab wounds from a weapon later on revealed to be a ring knife. The incident left the 24-year-old Jeron bleeding profusely from multiple stab wounds that required immediate operation at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig.
Thomas, 23, got stabbed in both arms and later treated for torn triceps, while the 28-year-old Norbert, who played the role of peacemaker during the fight, also got slashed in the arm, which required 11 stitches.
Based on the accounts of Rappler sources who requested anonymity, here’s what we know about what transpired before, during, and after the attack:
On Saturday night, June 2, less than 12 hours prior to the scuffle, Jeron and Norbert helped lead their respective teams, Alaska and Rain or Shine, to victories in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. (READ: Teng brothers meet in PBA for the first time)
After the game, both players – along with Thomas, Jeron’s girlfriend Jeanine Tsoi, and other friends – had dinner at Bonifcacio Global City (BGC) before heading to a gathering with friends and former teammates.
The group went to Early Night Club at the Fort Strip in BGC but only stayed for a brief period before deciding to go home and head to their cars in the parking lot.
According to a source, Jeron and Norbert were walking a little ahead of Jeanine and Thomas when a group of people nearby started to taunt them. One of them was a 40-year-old Filipino-American, eventually identified as Edmar Lacanlale, and the other was Williard Basili.
“Suddenly, may heckler – which is the guy who stabbed them – nag sabi, ‘Idol, t****na niyo!’ Parang ginanon sila,” said a source who spoke to Rappler.
(Suddenly, there was a heckler – which is the guy who stabbed them – who cursed at them.)
The verbal insult was heard immediately by Thomas and Jeanine, who respectfully told the heckler that there was no need to blurt out curse words. But the suspect answered back and called her a "b**ch."
With Thomas in close proximity to Jeanine, he quickly chastised the heckler for being disrespectful. Jeron and Norbert heard what was going on, but by the time they turned back, a fight had already broken out.
Teng found out what the suspect said to his girlfriend, got angry, but Jeanine tried to hold him back as security also tried to break up the groups.
In a video of the incident that has been posted online, one of the assailants is heard yelling at Jeron, “You don’t f*****g know me. Who are you?” The two were a few meters away from each other before the suspect charged at Teng after seeing him flash a middle finger.
Jeanine tried pleading with both sides to stop the fracas as the groups exchanged punches – with Jeron's group not knowing the assailants had knives – while Norbert tried to pacify the situation. (WATCH: The brawl that triggered the Jeron Teng stabbing incident)
Multiple stab wounds
By the time the two sides were separated, Thomas and Jeron sustained multiple stab wounds while Norbert got slashed in the arm. Jeanine brought the players to the hospital in a taxi. (READ: Jeron Teng, 2 ex-La Salle players stabbed in BGC)
The weapon used wasn’t found, but police later said it was a ring knife, based on a sketch description by Norbert at the Taguig police station.
Based on reports, the two attackers and an accomplice were eventually arrested, brought to the Bonifacio Global City precinct, handcuffed, and detained in the Taguig City jail as Norbert stayed behind to identify the men.
The accomplice was eventually released for playing no part in the altercation, while the other two claimed to have no knives with them in the melee. Later on in a TV interview, the two suspects admitted that they had knives.
Near the heart
The video circulating online also shows one of them having what may be a knife longer than a ring knife. A Philstar report said the men could be part of a knife gang or may have been either intoxicated with alcohol or high on drugs, but there has been no confirmation.
A source told Rappler that Jeron is lucky he was facing the assailant during the confrontation. Had his body been directed another way, the Alaska player may have suffered more stab wounds on his back that could have been more lethal.
“The doctor also said thankfully Jeron has a muscular built,” the source added. “Only the muscles got stabbed. If he didn’t, maybe a vital organ would have gotten hit.”
Jeron, a former UAAP Finals MVP, got stabbed thrice in the back and once near his chest.
“The doctor said he was lucky because [the stab wound was] an inch or an inch and a half away from his heart, if the guy made a mistake, God knows what would have happened,” said the source.
Jeron has been advised by doctors to stay away from physical activity for one month as his muscles heal. Therapy will follow after, during which it should be determined how quickly he can return to the campaign of the Aces, who are 5-1 in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup conference. (READ: What will Alaska miss from Jeron Teng?)
On Monday, Alaska head coach Alex Compton told reporters he didn’t think Jeron would play anymore in the conference, saying he’d be “pleasantly surprised” if Teng would manage to return soon. The rookie just played his best game this conference where he tallied 8 points, 10 rebounds and two steals in 22 minutes of action.
Compton said he's just happy that Teng is "alive and none of his vital organs were hit."
Hours after the skirmish, Jeron’s brother, Jeric, and his father, Alvin, were at the Taguig police station. It was there where Jeric, talking to reporters, claimed his brother wasn’t the type to get into fights.
“Kapatid ko ang tagal ko nang kakilala 'yan, ni isang track record, hindi naman nakikipagaway 'yan," said the older Teng.
(I know my brother, you can see his track record and not once was he involved in a fight.)
Unable to move
Thomas, on the other hand, will likely recover for a longer time. He got stabbed in both arms, which tore his right triceps. He also got slashed on his right chest.
According to a source, Thomas was unable to move his right arm after getting treated. “It was around two inches,” the source said, describing the size of the stab wound.
The incident will leave Thomas out for 4 to 6 weeks and also require him to undergo physical rehabilitation. The injury comes at a very unfortunate time for the former UAAP champion as he was set to debut with the Mandaluyong team in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) on June 12. Thomas was selected in the later rounds of the 2017 PBA Draft, but was left unsigned.
Reports said the attackers claimed they fought out of self-defense – an argument dismissed by Jeron’s brother.
"Talagang napagtripan sila. Minumura ata sila ganun tapos ayun napagtripan na lang," said Jeric. "For me, why would you bring a knife, 'di ba? Kung sinasabi mong self-defense, dapat bubugbugin mo na lang 'yung mukha nila."
(They just got picked on. The suspects cursed at them and they were just picked on. For me, why would you bring a knife? If you are saying that you did it for self-defense, they should have just beaten him up.)
A source also told Rappler the assailants are claiming they had no knowledge of the trio’s stature in Philippine sports before the attack, but the source doesn’t buy that sentiment.
“[Some people] are claiming they don’t know the players, but it started with ‘Hi, idol!’” the source argued.
The families of Jeron, Thomas, and Norbert plan to take legal action against the attackers by filing for charges of frustrated homicide and less serious injuries, which was confirmed by Jeric. (READ: Jeron Teng operated on twice, family to file frustrated homicide charges)
"Talaga, definitely [we'll file charges]. I believe sila Thomas [and Norbert] din," said Jeric.
(Definitely we'll file charges. I believe Thomas and Norbert will also file charges.)
Jeric – whose PBA team GlobalPort faced Jeron’s Aces hours before the stabbing incident – couldn't quite understand why the 2 suspects, who are older and supposedly working as professionals, would commit such an act.
The police report noted that Lacanlale is a 40-year-old Fiipino-American who works as a general construction contractor, while Basili, 37, works as a construction inspector.
"If you see how [Jeron, Thomas, and Norbert] are right now, it’s unbelievable. Mga bata lang to. 'Yung mga sumaksak sa kanila, may edad na," said Jeric.
(If you see how they are right now, it's unbelievable. They are just kids compared to the ones who stabbed them.) –Rappler.com