FIVE years is a long time for anyone wanting to get his redemption.
Unfortunately for Jeric Teng, half a decade since his UST Growling Tigers fell to Jeron’s La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP Season 76 Finals, his younger brother still got the better of him.
For the first time in their professional careers, the Teng brothers faced off in the PBA, with Jeron’s Alaska pulling off the 109-103 win over Jeric’s GlobalPort on Saturday.
“Syempre masaya dahil after five years, naglaban ulit kami. Excited pa rin kami kahit na it's a different scenario, different teams, and different roles. At one point, nagkabantayan pa nga kami,” said Jeric.
Jeron shared the same sentiment, saying, “Syempre happy ako na nagkalaban ulit kami. Before sa college, ngayon naman sa PBA na higher level na. Super excited kami going into this game.”
It could be considered as a dream come true for the Teng brothers, who even went to the venue in one car.
“Sabay kami pumunta, isang kotse lang kami. Pero hindi naman namin masyadong pinaguusapan yung laro,” said Jeric.
But the Batang Pier guard admitted there was a time when he thought this duel will remain as a mere dream as he found himself out of the league when he was left unsigned by Kia in the offseason. That time was also when Jeron was about to make the jump to the pros and entered the 2017 PBA Draft.
“I still continued to practice. We’re practicing together everyday sa Xavier nung wala akong team. Nagsama pa nga kami sa Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas sa Champions Cup. During that time, yung bonding talaga namin, lalong tumibay. Natutulungan namin ang isa’t isa,” he said.
But with the window of opportunity cropping up in GlobalPort, Jeric couldn’t be any more thankful, paving the way to this memorable game opposite his brethren.
“I’m just grateful to be here. Although I’m not playing well, andito pa rin ako and I’m doing my best every time I’m on the court,” said Jeric, who went scoreless in his eight minutes on the floor.
As bummed as he with the loss, Jeric remains proud with how Jeron performed in the tussle, wounding up with eight points and 10 rebounds in the Aces victory.
“I thought he played well,” he admitted. “May isang stretch dun na tuloy tuloy yung points niya, rebounds, defense. Parang dati rin na he helped the team win.”
But the next time the Teng brothers meet, Jeric is eyeing a different outcome.
“Sana the next time, panalo naman kami,” he said.
Jeron, meanwhile, promises to not stop rubbing his conquest on Jeric’s face.
“Syempre asar talo na naman yan sa akin dahil sa college, panalo na ako. Sa PBA, panalo pa rin ako sa first game naming magkaharap,” he said witha laugh.