The Games That Play Us: This Time It Counted

Jeron Teng hit the basket that counted the most as
DLSU upended UST.


The De La Salle Green Archers probably never forgot what happened the last time they played the UST Growling Tigers. They probably still remembered how LA Revilla’s shot at the end of regulation was a few milliseconds too late. They probably still remembered how Aljon Mariano came alive in the ten extra minutes, and how he rallied the Tigers past the Archers.

They probably never forgot, which is why this time around, with the game threatening to go to extra sessions yet again and with Revilla watching helplessly from the sidelines, the Greenies made sure to end things in regulation. This time they turned to Jeron Teng, and, like so many times so far this season, the super rookie delivered the goods.

Jeron actually struggled in this one. Prior to his hero moment, Teng had scored just 2 points in the second half, and he had shot just 3-of-12 overall from the field. Any other player in that situation would’ve probably passed up a chance to win the game, but this kid was never known to be gun-shy. If anything, he relished in the confidence given to him by his team.

With the game on the line and only 3.3 seconds left, Teng shook off Kevin Ferrer and received the inbound pass. He fearlessly crossed over from right to left and leaned ever so slightly into Ferrer’s chest – Ferrer flopped, which the refs were smart enough NOT to misconstrue as an offensive foul. He released the basketball mid-jump, from about 15 feet out, and with only a second left. Almond Vosotros ran to the basket for a possible tip-in in case the shot rimmed out, but there wouldn’t be any need for that.

The shot swooshed in right in front of the former San Sebastian Staglet, who was a hero himself, hitting four treys in the match. Vosotros pumped both arms into the air in jubilation as his teammates wasted no time to mob Teng, who displayed a strongman pose right after seeing his game-winner go in.

UAAP TV commentator Anton Roxas enthusiastically declared Teng the new King Archer, and one wouldn’t be faulted for believing him. Despite struggling the entire game, the rookie found the bottom of the net when it counted the most, and now his place in De La Salle lore is guaranteed.

This was painful for UST, obviously. The really scary thing, however, is they’ve now gone 1-2 to start the second round. If not for Jeric Fortuna’s endgame heroics last weekend they would be in a deeper quagmire, and what all these mean is perhaps the Tigers are finally being made to pay back Lady Luck for bailing them out so many times in the first round. Then again, it could just be the fact that teams are finally figuring them out.

It’s worth noting, however, that UST was the more efficient team here. They had their chances. They just couldn’t close it. They probably remembered their first game against La Salle, and how they could just win vicariously through Mariano again. They probably thought OT was in the books after Karim Abdul tied it up at 51.

Until La Salle made another regulation-ending shot. Only this time, it counted.

Aljon Mariano bled for all his 9 points
in UST's second loss in the second round.

The Archers celebrate as they gain momentum heading into
the anticipated second Ateneo-La Salle game this season.

The scores:

DLSU 53 – Vosotros 12, Torres T 10, Teng 9, Torres N 8, Van Opstal 7, Mendoza 5, Manguera 2, Paredes 0, Gotladera 0, Tallo 0, Webb 0, Tampus 0
UST 51 – Abdul 14, Mariano 9, Afuang 9, Fortuna 7, Teng 6, Vigil 2, Ferrer 2, Bautista 2, Pe 0, Lo 0, Dquioag 0
QS: 10-15, 22-27, 39-37, 53-51
Key Performances:
Karim Abdul (UST) – 14pts, 6rebs, 4asts, 1stl, 1blk
Norbert Torres (DLSU) – 8pts, 8rebs, 2asts, 1stl
Thomas Torres (DLSU) – 10pts, 6rebs, 2asts, 1stl

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