Jeric Teng relieved over end to sibling rivalry in UAAP

BLOOD is thicker than water.

Brothers Jeric and Jeron Teng proved this on Saturday as they hugged each other after the De La Salle Green Archers outlasted the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers for the 76th UAAP men's basketball title in overtime.

Jeron Teng had mixed feelings after La Salle won the 76th UAAP men’s basketball title at the expense of his brother Jeric’s team, University of Santo Tomas on Saturday. Jeron was also named Finals MVP. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

Jeric returned the favor, praising his younger brother for showing big improvement in his game.

"Grabe siya this finals. Ang defense namin naka-focus sa kanya pero he seems to be very effective in scoring, passing, rebounding, lahat ginagawa na niya. As a brother, I'm very proud of him," he said.

Three academic years apart, the Teng brothers were once teammates in Xavier School Golden Stallions. They won the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association diadem in 2009, the year Jeric suited up for UST.

Jeron took over the Stallions' leadership the following year. He did not disappoint, giving Xavier two more titles to complete a rare four-peat.

The do-or-die match was as good as advertised, as both squads battled it out until overtime. Thousands of fans watching in the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City were on their feet, anxious of who's going to go home with the championship.

"I feel disappointed. We're very close to getting the championship but we made some mistakes and La Salle won," said Jeric, whose dream to bow out of UST as a champion faded.

Yet at the end of the day, the 22-year-old prolific scorer was relieved that the best-of-three finals series was over.

"Happy na rin ako na kahit papano di na kami magkalaban ngayon. Medyo makakahinga na, okay na kami sa bahay," said Jeric, who can now focus in cheering for Jeron in his last three years in the UAAP. (Sunnex)

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