No celebration at Teng home after Jeron championship
MANILA, Philippines — Just days after the fantastic Finals series between De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas, everything is slowly getting back to normal in the Teng household.
In Game 3 on Saturday, siblings Jeron and Jeric Teng came out big for the Green Archers and the Growling Tigers, respectively, lifting their teams until the very end. Unfortunately for them, only one Teng can finish on top. And that Teng was the one in green.
Jeron overcame cramps in what was an intense series between them and UST as he delivered the goods for the Taft Avenue crew, ultimately earning him the Finals MVP trophy.
Brotherly love, however, triumphed in the end.
“I approached him [Jeric] and wanted to comfort him. I felt bad for him,” Jeron told Rappler. “I just told him he has nothing to prove to UST anymore because he has done so much for UST.”
The sophomore sensation also added that if not for Jeric, his team could be facing a different squad in the last dance.
“In the first place, UST wouldn’t be in the finals [if not for] him. Because of his injury, UST struggled but when he came back, everyone saw na he really led the team.”
Although he has every right to be ecstatic with the championship he won for his school, the self-confessed San Mig Coffee Mixers and Oklahoma City Thunder fan admits that there will be no fanfare at home.
“At home we couldn’t celebrate because it would be unfair for my brother. We just want to focus on the future for him, for me,” quipped the 2012 UAAP Rookie of the Year.
Dream come true
Even long before their teams squared off for the crown, it has always been a dream for the brothers to play each other in the Finals.
“Before he graduates, gusto namin magkalaban pa kami sa finals,” Jeron said. “During the series, focus lang talaga naming is winning, sini-set aside naming ang pagiging brothers namin. We both want to be competitive and win the championship.”
In the end, Jeron and the rest of the La Salle squad emerged victorious after a gruelling 3-game series and hoisted the Season 76 title, DLSU’s 8th championship in 13 finals appearances.
“My mindset was to really win the championship for all the alumni who support us, to give back to the community.”
Brothers off the court
Asked what he would do to comfort his brother after a tough battle, Jeron shared that they’ll just return to what they used to be.
“We’re really close talaga, we’re gonna do what we usually do, spend time together at home, we play video games, we’ll also go out, we’ll watch a movie, just spend time together."
"We’ll help each other again in terms of basketball. Magiging mentor kami for one another.”
As boys, Jeric was the more passionate of the two when it came to basketball. He would convince his little brother, who was initially reluctant, to love the sport, too.
“Before, my brother would ask me to play basketball outside. That time I didn't have much interest in basketball. Sabi ko ‘ayoko mag playstation na lang ako.’ Somehow nagustuhan ko ang basketball,” Jeron said.
As the focal point of offense for their respective teams, Jeron confesses that he had a tough time guarding his brother at first.
“We really had a hard time guarding my brother. I really wanted to guard him so that we can win the game. Lagi kaming nanonood sa games namin, we both know how one moves already eh, ‘yung mga tendencies. Pag nagbabantayan medyo nakakailang.”
Like father, like sons
If there is someone who hit the jackpot in Season 76 Finals, it was Jeric and Jeron’s father, Alvin.
The former PBA player, who was known for his stingy defense, is proud of his sons. He, however, admits it was difficult for him to be a dad of two intense players who play for different schools.
“My dad’s known for being hardworking. When my dad used to teach us basketball, yun yung gusto niya sa amin is to be hardworking,” Jeron said while adding that his dad could sometimes be a tougher coach than Juno Sauler.
Being the next generation of Tengs, Jeron tries to live by the gravity of being a son of a former PBA player.
“May pressure but it also serves as motivation for us. Kami ng brother ko we have an advantage na we have a father who reached PBA.”
With the limelight trained on him for the rest of his playing years in the UAAP, Jeron gave assurances that all the accolade won't get into his head.
“We just stay grounded lang. We just feel so blessed with whatever attention we’re having, we’re just thankful for all the people who support us,” Jeron said. “Thank you so much for the support for us this season, we offer our championship to you.” - Rappler.com