Teng gets timing back, tows UST to win past AdamsonBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — University of Santo Tomas needed a big shot and Jeric Teng was there to take it.
A wide-open Teng nailed a dagger trey to give the Growling Tigers the lead with 1:39 to go, en route to an 83-79 victory over Adamson Saturday in the 75th UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Teng struggled with his timing due to his slight MCL tear, but he chose the perfect time to show his renewed confidence as he scored 22 points and hauled down six rebounds.
“My decision making helped me in this game,” said Teng. “It was hard to come back again, but my coach gave me confidence.”
The Growling Tigers just couldn’t find away all game to fully shake off the pesky Falcons, who are playing with nothing to lose, and even trailed for the bulk of the payoff period.
Teng received a feed from Tata Bautista, who subbed in for Jeric Fortuna with two minutes left, then nailed the wide open trey to swing the lead to UST, its first since 61-60 early in the fourth.
The fourth-year guard and Aljon Mariano sealed the much-needed win, putting the Growling Tigers at solo second behind Ateneo with a 9-3 slate, with three straight freethrows.
Adamson, determined to play the spoilsport role after bowing out of contention for the final four spot, reeled to its ninth loss of the season.
But a star has been born for the Falcons in transferee Jericho Cruz, who sizzled with 33 points, eight rebounds and three dimes.
Cruz poured 19 of his total points in the first half alone, being only the third Falcon, next to Ken Bono and Patrick Cabahug, in recent history to reach the 30-point mark.