ALVIN Teng may have publicly expressed his non-partisan approach to the coming UAAP Finals, but there is no doubt in his mind on who is the better player between his two celebrated sons.
“Tingin ko mas lamang si Jeric, kasi mas matagal na siya at sanay na siya sa ganitong klase ng pressure. Saka yung basketball IQ niya mataas eh. He can play point guard nga,” said Teng when reached by Spin.ph two days before La Salle and University of Santo Tomas begin their title series.
The elder Teng, however, said the best-of-three finals is as good a time as any for young Jeron, now in his sophomore year with De La Salle, to show that he has closed the gap between him and his older brother.
“Ito nga ang good chance for Jeron to catch up. Andyan pa yung kuya niya eh,” he said. “Kasi kahit magkalaban sila, I’m sure may matutunan sila sa isa’t-isa.”
The former PBA star admits it is hard comparing his two sons because of their contrasting styles - Jeric is UST's top gun who also has a good post game while Jeron is a bull-strong player who is more like dad, unstoppable inside and a good finisher on fastbreaks.
“Actually, magkaiba ang laro nila eh. So kung ikukumpara mo sa shooting o perimeter, mas magaling si Jeric, may tres yun eh,” the proud father said. “Kung palakasan naman ng katawan, mas lamang si Jeron. Pag da-drive at power, lamang si Jeron dun."
Jeric's distinct advantage, his dad said, was culled from years of playing at the top level.
“Kaya kung nasabi ko man na lamang si Jeric, kasi experienced na siya eh. Andami na niyang na-encounter na matataas ang level na liga,” he said.
The Davao City native also revealed that seeing his children play against each other in the finals is a dream come true for the family.
“Talagang ipinagdasal namin ng wife na si Susan na mangyari ito. Lahat halos ng mga Chinese temple pinuntahan namin para ipagdasal sila,” Teng said.
“Nung na-injure nga si Jeric, akala namin hindi na siya makakabalik. Sabi ko nun, sayang last year pa naman niya,” he said while expressing his gratitude to well-known ortho-surgeon Isagani Leal for his son's quick recovery.
Teng, however, rues that when the smoke of battle clears, one of his sons will inevitably be at the losing end.
“Yun ang masakit dyan. Kasi may isang magsasaya kasi nag champion, may isa namang masasaktan … Sana nga sila dalawa na lang mag champion - kung pwede lang,” said the 48-year old dad.