UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas will still miss the services of Jeric Teng when they open their second round against University of the East on Thursday, but the Tigers skipper said he could make his comeback soon.
The two-week break during the Fiba-Asia Championship allowed Teng to rest his injured shoulder and he has actually started some training on his own although he said his status is still day-to-day.
“Sariling practice pa lang ako pero wala na ’yung (orthopedic arm) sling,” said Teng.
Teng suffered a partial tear in his right anterior labrum (shoulder joint) after he was hit by National University’s Jeff Javillonar in July.
“Hindi pa ako sure (kung kalian). Day-to-day pa rin pero sure na I’m not playing against UE,” Teng said.
The Tigers play the Red Warriors at the Araneta Coliseum on Thursday at 4 p.m. as they part ways after finishing the first round with a 4-3 win-loss slate.
It was actually in the first round encounter that UST started playing without Teng but the Tigers came out as winners in that game, grabbing an 88-77 victory over the Red Warriors last July 13.
Following that loss, however, the Red Warriors won three straight games to finish the first round in joint second place.
UE coach Boycie Zamar said that the break was an opportunity to prepare not just mentally but physically after an inconsistent first round.
“We have to inject the mental side of the game to the players,” Zamar said.
In the 2 p.m. game, Ateneo takes on University of the Philippines.
After a so-so first round that saw them finish with a 3-4 record, Ateneo coach Bo Perasol welcomed the break as it is their opportunity to rest some of the injuries of the players.
“We have to be sharp for the second round,” said Perasol.
The Maroons look to bounce back after they failed to notch a win in the first round.