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Jeron Teng joined a pair of La Salle legends who were able to end their collegiate careers by winning the championship at the expense of archrival Ateneo.
Teng scored 19 of his 28 points in the first half in perhaps the game of his life as the Green Archers finished off the Blue Eagles, 79-72, last Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum for the school’s ninth UAAP title.
The victory allowed Teng to equal the feats of the late Lim Eng Beng and Renren Ritualo, considered as heroes among the Lasallian faithful.
Lim scored 37 points as La Salle beat Ateneo, 90-80, in a playoff for the second round pennant to clinch the 1974 NCAA crown. The shooting guard, who passed away last year, has always considered that game as his most memorable.
Twenty-seven years later in 2001, Ritualo capped off a memorable UAAP career by helping the Green Archers capture their fourth straight crown by defeating the Blue Eagles, 93-88, in the deciding Game 3.
Ritualo, however, was part of a list of players who delivered in La Salle’s comeback from trailing for most of the game, recovering from missing blanks in the first half to finish with 15 points.
In ending his UAAP career, Teng could earn himself legendary status at Taft after a career marked by a Rookie of the Year award in 2012 and four Mythical Five selections.
He was also named Finals Most Valuable Player twice, including Wednesday’s clincher. The first came in 2013 when he helped defeat University of Santo Tomas and his older brother Jeric.
Asked if which of the two titles that meant everything, Teng offered this response.
“I can say the two championships were different,” Teng said. “The first one I was playing against my brother while is this is also different because I’m the senior right now, then winning the championship, two different stories.
“But both were really memorable. Those are the times that I can’t forget,” added Teng.