As far as De La Salle University’s Jeron Teng is concerned, the real MVP of the UAAP men’s basketball finals is his older brother, Jeric.
Jeron was named the finals MVP after the Green Archers clinched the championship on Saturday. But as his teammates celebrated on court, he embraced his brother, who fought his heart out for University of Santo Tomas, and raised his hand.
La Salle outsteadied UST in the overtime period to hammer out a 71-69 win in the championship series’ winner-take-all game.
“My older brother Jeric deserves to be the MVP of this finals,” Jeron said as La Salle fans erupted in celebration in the packed Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. “I knew how hard he fought and he also deserved the credit.”
The younger Teng scored 25, hauled down eight rebounds and dished out six assists in La Salle’s conquest of UST. Jeric led the Growling Tigers with 24 points as he finished his final year in the UAAP.
“I really wanted to celebrate because we came out the winner of this championship, but I have to admit that I felt the loss of my brother. It is very hard,” Jeron said. “I really don’t know what to feel because he I knew he wanted to leave the school as a champion.”
The brothers are the sons of former Philippine Basketball Association enforcer Alvin Teng.
Jeric said he is very happy for his brother. “He deserved that title,” said Jeric, who fell to his knees in frustration as the buzzer sounded.
JOSEF T. RAMOS