LIKE his coach exactly 29 years ago, University of Santo Tomas star Jeric Teng saw a career performance go down the drain as the Tigers lost to De La Salle in Game Two of the UAAP Season 76 Finals.
Pido Jarencio knows exactly how it felt.
Back on October 5, 1984, current UST coach Jarencio exploded for 48 points - believed to be a Finals record to this day (although we would love to be corrected) - for the then-Glowing Goldies in an epic Game Two of the UAAP Finals against University of the East.
Unfortunately, Jarencio’s offensive brilliance wasn’t enough as UST lost the game, 99-112, and the championship to a UE Red Warriors side that rode the 46 points of King Warrior Allan Caidic.
“Forty-eight nga pero talo naman kami,” said Jarencio on Saturday, marking the 29th anniversary of what is considered the greatest shootout in UAAP history. “Better pa na umiskor ng 12 pero nanalo kami.”
Ironically, Caidic is an assistant coach in the DLSU team that beat the Tigers on Saturday. The legendary UE gunner also denied Jarencio and a twice-to-beat UST a championship the following year.
Now it's Teng's turn to fall short.
The senior guard hit for 28 points in his best game in a UST uniform in Game Two, but it failed avert a 70-77 loss that forced a do-or-die game on October 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Hindi maaalala ng tao ‘yun,” said Teng about his career-high in scoring. “Although I scored 28, what matters most is the championship. Natalo kami so balewala ‘yun.”
Teng admitted UST was not at its best, more so mentally.
“I really tried to motivate them to go all out. But we can’t play like this in Game Three kasi may moments na we gave up tsaka nawalan kami ng composure, nagre-reklamo kami sa mga referees. Hindi puwedeng mangyari uli ‘yun,” Teng said.
The high-scoring UST guard also admitted that he himself lost his focus during the game.
“Nakakapagod din ‘yung humahabol, pero andami nila (Archers) umiskor. Kahit papano maaapektuhan ka rin. Pero dapat hindi ako papa-apekto,” he said.
Teng, however, gave a lot of credit to La Salle for its Game Two effort, with his brother Jeron leading the way offensively with 19 points.
“Sa tingin ko, na-outwork at na-outhustle kami. Sila ang mas aggressive ngayon,” Teng said.