There were no jokes this time as tearful Jarencio, UST make history in UAAP
MANILA, Philippines – University of Sto. Tomas Coach Pido Jarencio’s jokes were replaced with tears as he faced the media at the Mall of Asia Arena Saturday night.
He just answered one question and left in the middle of a TV interview — a stark contrast from the press room usually filled with laughs when Jarencio is present.
The wise cracking UST mentor couldn’t find the words to describe how his Tigers, who spent the majority of the season riddled with injuries, made it to the finals.
“Di ko talaga akalain na aabot pa kami [I really didn’t think that we would get this far],” said Jarencio in between sobs. “Maraming taong nagdududa sa kakayanan ko [A lot of people doubted my ability].”
There were no more doubts after UST’s masterful 76-69 win that foiled the bid of National University to make it to the finals after 43 years.
The Tigers, meanwhile, made history of their own, being the first fourth seeded team to oust a top-ranked team, which had a win-once edge, in the final four.
“We feel blessed and grateful,” said Jeric Teng, who had 19 points to lead UST. “When we won game one, sabi ko talaga sa kanila na tayo makakagawa ng history [When we won game one, I told them that we would make history].”
Teng, along with Kevin Ferrer delivered the blows for UST, which held the Bulldogs spellbound for nearly four minutes in the payoff period while churning out a pivotal 11-0 run.
“Grabe puro injuries kami this season. Kahit ako, I never imagined na makakabalik pa ako, I’m just blessed to play [It was bad because of the injuries we had this season. Even I, I never imagined that I could come back. I’m just blessed to play],” said Teng.
The senior guard, who injured his shoulder then his hamstring midway this season, has been under Jarencio’s tutelage since 2009.
“When our players were injured, and we were losing, the coaches were being blamed. When we won, he was just glad because he proved that we could win,” said Teng in Filipino.