A BETTER performance and ending next season.
This is what team skipper and star cager Jeron Teng wants when he returns to action on his final year with the La Salle Green Archers in season 79 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.
“It’s a painful loss for us. It would have been our ticket to the playoffs. Next year, I will be back. But I don’t want my last game to end like this,” said Teng after the Far Eastern University Tamaraws escaped with a 71-68 beating of his La Salle Green Archers on Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Teng said he hopes that they will have a better season and make it back to the Final Four.
With their loss to the Tams, the Archers fell out of contention in the Final Four for the first time in four seasons.
And graduating players like Teng, Thomas Torres, Julian Sargent and Jason Perkins want to leave the collegiate ranks in a blaze of glory.
“I’m sure they don’t want to graduate to this kind of ending,” said coach Juno Sauler.
The Green Archers led by 11 early in the fourth quarter of their game against the Tamaraws.
But things changed when Roger Pogoy came in.
Pogoy tallied 11 points, scoring three triples when he came off the bench in the last 4:30 and helping FEU turn the tables on the Green Archers.
Behind by 10 points in the third, the Tams cut down La Salle’s lead by five in the fourth off Fil-Norwegian cager Steve Holmqvist’s driving layup, 52-57.
The 6’2” Pogoy, who came in after Prince Orizu left on a sprained ankle, then sank all of his 11-point tally in the last 2:02. It came during a 13-4 run which handed FEU the upperhand, 65-61.
After that, Sauler said it was the little things that changed the complexity of the game in its final moments.
La Salle managed to stay close off Teng’s basket, 65-67, with 1:22 to go.
They had a chance to tie the count when Holmqvist bungled two charities in the remaining 14.7 seconds.
But the ball stayed in FEU’s possession when Thomas Torres committed an out-of-bounds violation, and Monbert Arong converted two charities off Teng’s foul in the final 12.8 seconds for a 69-66 count.
Holmqvist later made up for his miscue when he assisted Joe Allen Trinidad for a quick drive at endgame.