ALTHOUGH left puzzled by the confusion that marred the dying seconds of Game One of the UAAP men’s basketball Finals, UST star Jeric Teng would rather not delve on the Tigers’ 78-83 loss to defending champion Ateneo, and instead has focused on the bigger task ahead.
“Talo na eh, move on na kami,” said Teng. “Game Two all out kami.”
Game Two of the short best-of-three series is set on Thursday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, with the Eagles looking to wrap things up and claim their fifth straight men’s title.
Game Three, if necessary, is set Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Teng led the Tigers with 25 points and hit back-to-back three-pointers in the final minute of the thrilling contest to cut a nine-point Ateneo lead to 78-81.
With the outcome of the match beyond doubt after Kiefer Ravena hit the insurance basket for Ateneo, 83-78, Teng attempted another three-pointer and was fouled by Ryan Buenafe while taking the shot at the buzzer.
However, Teng wasn’t awarded three free throws as officials claimed there was no longer time remaining when the foul was made.
The three free throws denied of Teng were among the issues raised by UST coach Pido Jarencio about what he perceived were unfair officiating against the Tigers.
Jarencio claimed there was still five-tenths of a second remaining in the game clock when Teng was fouled.
“Ang sinasabi ko, tapusin natin ang laro. Tumawag kayo ng foul kay Teng, eh tatlong free throws ‘yun. Eh di pag free-throwin mo kahit walang oras. Ang sinasabi ko tapusin natin ng maayos ang lahat,” said Jarencio.
Teng himself was baffled why he was no longer allowed to take free throws, when the normal thing to do was for the referees to review last-second shots on the TV monitor.
“Walang explanation. Wala silang sinabi kung umabot o hindi,” said Teng, the former Rookie of the Year. “Kung di umabot, wala tayong magagawa, eh hindi umabot e. Pero hindi na nila pinakita. Ini-expect namin may review.”
Teng has nothing against the referees, but stressed that proper decorum should have been observed under such circumstances.
“Parang di nga ni-review (last play). Decision na ng referee ‘yun, kami naman naglalaro lang,” said the eldest of the two playing sons of former PBA cager Alvin Teng. “Pero maganda sana kung na-replay nila, napakita nila sa amin sa taas (giant monitor). Pero wala eh. Parang ayaw na ibigay `yung free throws.”