Just a few nights before Game 3 between De La Salle University (DLSU) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST), the Teng family—Alvin and wife Susan, daughters Alyssa and Almira, and famous sons Jeric and Jeron—shared an intimate dinner at the Gloria Maris Banquet Hall at Gateway Mall in Cubao, Quezon City.
In between mouthfuls of lechon Macau, Peking duck and the entire Moon Festival buffet of Gloria Maris, the Teng family shared their thoughts about the championship.
I had the unique opportunity to meet this family up close and probe how they were coping with the pressure of having two of their loved ones in the backbreaking UAAP basketball finals—on opposing teams.
Brother vs. brother. This is a first in UAAP history. How do you feel that you are up against your own brother?
Jeric: Ready naman kami. Sinabi namin na it was not a far-off possibility na maglalaban kami kaya we prepared ourselves for this.
Who wants this championship more?
Jeric: This is my last year so I am hungry for the championship. Sabi ko, hindi ako pwede mag-graduate ng walang championship. This is it.
Jeron: I want it also and I will play my best to help my team get the crown.
How will you feel if one of you hurts the other on the court?
Jeric: Basketball is a rough game, and it will be inevitable na magkakabangga kami. Kapatid pa rin, pero physical lang talaga ang game. Pero we are ready for that, and lalabas ang competitiveness namin…
Jeron: Siyempre seryoso ang magiging guarding ko sa kanya. Walang personalan.
‘Play your best’
Alvin, Susan, how do you support your sons?
Susan: Sinasabi ko lang sa kanila na play your best. Laging ibigay ang todo sa laro.
Alvin: Ako kasi nagkaroon na ng nine championships, so gusto ko rin yun para sa mga anak ko. So my advice is, laro lang nang todo. We are okay as long as we know that they gave it their all.
How are you guys preparing to celebrate after the finals?
Susan: Ako, resigned ako kung ano ang God’s will. ’Wag lang ma-injure at maganda yung laro nila. Bahala na Diyos kung sino ang manalo. Mahirap din kasi mamili dahil pareho mong anak.
Where are you going to celebrate after the final game?
Susan: I don’t think we will celebrate so much. Hindi sobrang masaya kasi meron isang malulungkot. Hindi magiging total ang kasiyahan. Hindi kagaya kung iba ang kalaban. Siyempre nanay ako. Gusto ko parehong masaya ang anak ko.
Alvin: Mahirap kasi merong isang malungkot.
Where do you plan to play after you graduate?
Jeric: Play professional basketball. Siguro gusto ko sa Ginebra. Same kasi siya sa UST, grabe ang crowd support and I like that.
Jeron: Parehas lang. Ginebra rin.
How much do you think the crowd will affect your play?
Jeron: The crowd is a major factor. But I don’t easily give in to pressure. Tsaka love din naman ako ng UST fans.
Jeric: Iba ang UST mag-cheer. I will derive inspiration from them.
How affected are you by the crowd heckling?
Almira: Sobra naman ang iba kung mag-bad finger sa kapatid ko. Kaya minsan nakikipag-argue ako. Okay lang sana if they cheer lang, pero kapag iniinsulto na ang kapatid ko, I get annoyed.
Susan: Basta ako relax lang.
Who will the family cheer for?
Alyssa: La Salle.
Alvin: La Salle.