JERIC Teng’s playoff hopes in his final year with University of Santo Tomas now lies on how his team will fare against his brother Jeron’s De La Salle in their Saturday’s UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tournament match-up at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tigers, last year's finalists, collide with the Green Archers looking to get headway over five-time champion Ateneo in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the semifinal at 4 p.m.
UST won its third straight victory last week against University of the Philippines, 63-39, to stay in the Final Four frame with Teng coming back from a hamstring injury in preparation for the Tigers' all-important match against La Salle.
Ironically, the elder Teng, in his final year with the Tigers, will need to go through his younger brother’s team if he wants his collegiate career to extend into the Final Four.
Santo Tomas is in solo fourth with a 7-5 win-loss card but still needs at least a victory in its final two games to stay in contention for a Final Four spot with Ateneo right behind with a 7-6 card.
The Tigers need to win against La Salle as a loss will force UST to a do-or-die match against Ateneo on Wednesday for the Final Four spot. A sweep of their last two matches will give the Tigers the No. 4 seeding in the playoffs.
On the other hand, De La Salle, holding third place with a 9-4 win-loss slate, also needs a victory to cement at least a playoff for the twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.
Jeron Teng said that he will leave it out on the court in the crucial game against his elder brother.
“Inside the court, siyempre we need a win also. Who is the better team nalang siguro,” said the younger Teng.
In the first game, Adamson and University of the East battle at 2 p.m.
The Falcons (4-9) and the Red Warriors (5-7) are battling for pride as they are now out of the Final Four race.