JERIC TENG is raring to get back into real action after getting a sort of tuneup, playing 27 minutes and being allowed to fire away as University of Santo Tomas faced winless University of the Philippines on Saturday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at MOA Arena.
The result was nine points on 2-of-13 shooting, but the Tigers managed to still come up with a comfortable 63-39 win over the Maroons.
The easy victory extended the Tigers’ streak to three and helped them stay in the top half of the eight-team league. For Teng, who missed two straight games, it was a big step as the Tigers prepare for an all-important match against Final Four contender La Salle.
“Timing nalang and conditioning, konti pa. Pero I’m just happy to be back,” said Teng after his first game since sustaining a right hamstring injury last August 24 in a game against National University.
Earlier, the fifth-year guard had missed five games after sustaining a right shoulder injury in their first round encounter, also against NU, on July 10.
“Binibigyan talaga ako ni coach ng kumpiyansa kasi next two games ang pinakaimportante,” Teng said.
UST coach Pido Jarencio admitted he used the UP game for Teng to get his form in time for their meeting with La Salle on September 14 and Ateneo on Sept. 18, crucial games in the race for Final Four slots.
The Tigers are still not out of the woods despite a 7-5 win-loss card as teams are in a tight battle on the top.
“Para talaga kay Teng ito, pang-warm-up niya para makuha niya timing niya,” said Jarencio. “In preparation ito against La Salle.”
Teng struggled with his shots, but Jarencio kept him on the floor.
“Okay naman siya. Sana mag-pick-up pa ang game niya against La Salle,” Jarencio said.