MANILA -- The University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers may have barely made it to the Final Four, but they are surely making the most of their campaign by winning the major individual awards this season.
UST’s Jeric Teng handily won the Rookie of the Year award by posting 40.9 statistical points (SP). University of the Philippines' Mikee Reyes came in a distant second with only 22.1 SPs.
Teng’s triumph followed that of fellow Tiger Dylan Ababou, who was earlier named as this year’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Teng became the third scoring stock of the most potent offensive team in the league. He came in next to dynamic duo Ababou and Khasim Mirza in UST’s scoring department, averaging 11.4 points on top of 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.
Gifted with athleticism, Teng owes his basketball genes from his father, Alvin, known as PBA’s “Robocop” while playing for San Miguel Beer.
Midway through the season, Teng scored 18, 20 and a single-high 22 points in a three-game stretch.
“Iba ang puso ng batang yan (Jeric). Alam namin na malaki ang maitutulong niya sa team nung kinuha namin siya,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio.
Teng scored the MVP plum during his stint in the Tiong Lian Basketball Association, where he and La Salle rookie Gab Banal led Xavier High School to win the title.
Meanwhile, Ababou was joined by FEU’s Aldrech Ramos, last season MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini of Ateneo, and UE’s awesome duo of Elmer Espiritu and Paul Lee in the Mythical Five.
UST will play Ateneo on Sunday at 3:30 p.m in the Araneta Coliseum. Tickets for the game are reportedly sold out. By Alder T. Almo