October 12, 2013
Green Lantern, Yellow Submarine
Jeron Teng won it for La Salle.
Someone lost it for University of Santo Tomas.
Teng practically carried the Green Archers on his shoulders and cramping legs in turning back the Tigers in a gripping 71-69 overtime victory that sealed the Taft-based dribblers the UAAP Season 76 senior basketball title at the packed MOA Arena in Pasay City to the delight of the green-clad fans who have been bleeding green after a six-year title drought.
Congratulations La Salle.
You too coach Juno Sauler, for sticking to your guns and making the right call. Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said it best on his Twitter account @coachot and it reads “My final tweet in this Final is to commend Juno Sauler’s coaching. He has d perfect demeanour for this team. It’s not all Xs and Os.”
Hats off to Almond Vosotros, who made the clutch triples when the Archers clawed their way back from a 15-point first half deficit.
Kudos to Jason Perkins for a mammoth 13-point, 18-rebound effort, also despite hobbling with cramps in crucial situations.
Arnold Van Opstal too. Or should we say Arnold Van Awesome?
Most especially to Jeron. What can we say, his stats spoke for itself. 25 points. Nine of 19 from the field. Seven of nine from the foul line. Eight rebounds. Six assists. Two rebounds. One steal. One block. His idol, Kevin Durant will be proud. AND three clutch plays in OT. He responded to elder brother Jeric’s huge bucket with a split, fed Vosotros for the go-ahead basket then bothered Karim Abdul’s attempt with 2.3 seconds to go. So if there’s someone who deserves the Finals MVP more than anyone from La Salle, its Jeron. Mr. Clutch to the last.
And then it was all pandemonium.
The Archers and their legions of fans whopped it up.
You deserve it all.
My heart broke for Jeric Teng. Was a man in a mission. Played each and every game is if it’s his last. Class act. Finals MVP in the making if UST had won. Happy for brother Jeron for winning it for the family.
Sad for UST coach Pido Jarencio. He did the best he could and what is right. Ended Ateneo’s dynastic reign to catch the last semis bus, tamed a heavy favorite in National U in the Final Four, came through with an effort to remember in Game One and was 6.1 seconds away from clinching his first title since steering the Tigers to the crown in 2006. We all know what happened? Someone blew it for him. And Jeron Teng happened. Again, as Coach Chot said: “Coach Pido has nothing to be ashamed of. He coached a perfect game til d last play in regulation when his instructions were not followed.”
And that one who lost it?
Was he the one who took the shot by his lonesome against the play designed by Jarencio for Jeric Teng? Was he the one who went for the triple when a shot nearer would suffice? Was he the one who had the gall to take that last shot when he was like throwing bricks like he was trying to build a stone house? Was he also the one who threw the wild, outlet pass that led to a La Salle interception when he should have played it safe since UST was leading by a point anyway? Was he the one who sucked the whole series?
Oh forget about him.
Let’s just talk about the Tengs instead. Or Sauler and Jarencio. Or maybe the brilliant referees. For heaven’s sake, let’s talk about the NCAA. The league that has lasted forever. Please give me my tranquilizer now.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photos courtesy of spin.ph and Jun Mendoza of The Philippine STAR)