University of Santo Tomas faithful somehow heaved a big sigh of relief Sunday as team captain Jeric Teng disclosed he only sustained a strained right hamstring muscle a day after the Growling Tigers absorbed a 61-75 defeat against the rampaging National U Bulldogs in UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball action.
In his personal Twitter account (@jericteng16), the 6-foot-2 UST skipper allayed fears that his latest injury–following a slight anterior labrum tear on his right shoulder he suffered against a hard shove from rugged defender Jeoff Javillonar in their initial meeting won by NU 71-67 decision last July 14–was not that bad after being diagnosed by renowned doctor Isagani Leal, a musculoskeletal expert.
"Doc Leal said it's just a strained hamstring. Just have to rest it. Thank God."
Teng, who even started and played for 10 minutes but scored just two points in three tries, was also grateful for Dr. Leal's help.
"Thank you to Doc Isagani Leal. He is the reason I was able to play again. My shoulder is a lot better now after the prp treatment. #blessed"
"He also did acupuncture on my right hamstring while ago. A lot better now. Just need a few days of rest."
With Teng watching helplessly from the sidelines the entire second half, the Bulldogs dealt the Growling Tigers a third straight setback and fifth overall in nine starts, moving further away from the pacesetters.
This frustrated Teng no end, since he had been looking forward to returning to action.
“I’m very frustrated kasi hindi ako makatulong sa team namin. ‘Yun ang worst feeling. Natalo kami tapos wala akong nagawa para sa team,” he lamented.
The Tigers were trailing by just 22-24 in the second canto when Teng, eager to prevent a fastbreak play, chased down NU guard Robin Rono, only to limp off to the baseline while holding his right hamstring.
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As much as he would have liked to play in the second half, Teng felt he would have been an added burden to his teammates.
“Actually, I wanted to play pero pakiramdam ko naman na parang magiging liability lang ako sa team namin. Mahirap naman ipilit. Hindi ako makagalaw ng maayos. That’s why I decided not to play,” he said.
His decision, however, backfired on the Growling Tigers, who ran out of steam in the face of the Bulldogs’ ferocious 15-4 windup anchored on the 5-foot-8 Rono, who finished with a team-high 19 points, spiked by four triples in the payoff canto.
“It’s our worst game for quite some time. We were really outhustled and outworked. Lahat sa kanila (napunta). Frustrated talaga lahat (ng teammates ko) at hindi nag-uusap kaya ganun katambak,” he pointed out, sharing the sentiments of coach Pido Jarencio.
“Si coach Pido medyo frustrated na rin. All throughout the week, mahirap ‘yung practice namin. Okay naman ang ensayo pero pagdating ng game wala. Sabi niya ‘Hindi kami mananalo if we don’t play with our hearts out.’ Wala talaga, sobrang wala,” added the eldest son of former pro league cager Alvin Teng.
The UST gunner, now playing in his fifth and final year, also pointed his “extra work” during the long break might also worked against him. “Feeling ko I overworked myself. Last Saturday pa lang ako nag-start magpractice. Naparami ‘yung extra work kaya I think it’s one of the main reasons,” he said.
Now hard-pressed to get back on track with their rivals starting to gain momentum, Teng insisted the Tigers can’t afford to drop any of their last five assignments, starting against the Falcons.
“Wala na kaming pwedeng italo. Kapag natalo pa kami, aasa na kami sa ibang teams. So kailangan talaga one game at a time. Ang focus namin sa next game lang talaga. Sana makapaglaro ako,” he said.