WHILE acknowledging his team kept its composure down the stretch, Jeron Teng felt La Salle still put up a Game One performance that simply won’t cut it as far as finishing off Ateneo in the UAAP men’s basketball Finals.
The senior forward typified the Archers’ poise at crunch time as he delivered on both ends of the floor in the 67-65 win on Saturday, scoring the go-ahead basket before deflecting Aaron Black’s potential game-winning shot for the Blue Eagles.
“Siyempre, championship ‘to and we know yung kalaban namin will make runs, so we just had to stay together and stay composed,” Teng said.
“But we have to play better,” he was quick to add. “Parang kinabahan kami. We have to play better para hindi kabahan yung mga nanonood sa amin.”
Teng certainly played with steely nerves in the endgame as he finished with 10 points and rounded out his effort with four boards and three assists in 28 minutes as a starter.
But the 22-year-old wingman insisted he didn’t make a conscious effort to take matters into his own hands, deflecting credit to star big man Ben Mbala for giving him a good screen in the play where he scored the go-ahead basket.
“In that situations kasi, Ben sealed and he took his man out so I saw an opening,” Teng said. “Credit to Ben also for getting me a good shot.”
And he can’t wait to close out the series.
“Gusto ko na talaga last game ko na,” Teng said. “Ayaw ko ko na magka-two games. Medyo funny yun na parang ironic na gusto ko na matapos (collegiate career), pero we just wanna end it on Wednesday.”