Don’t be surprised if you can’t reach La Salle players—from their personal mobile numbers to social media accounts—until Saturday night.
La Salle’s team management has instructed the Green Archers to keep themselves away from any distraction as they gear up for the opener of their best-of-three UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball finals series against the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
No less than La Salle’s star Jeron Teng publicly disclosed the team’s latest ploy on his personal Twitter account on Thursday night.
No more phone starting tomorrow. If you're gonna message me tomorrow, I'll probably receive it after the game on Saturday.
— Jeron Teng (@jeronteng) December 1, 2016
Playing on his fifth and final year, the 6-foot-2 Teng vowed he will do “whatever it takes” to give the Green Archers their first UAAP title since 2013, the year they won it all over the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers, with Juno Sauler calling the shots.
“This is going to be special because, personally, I’m trying to give La Salle a championship in my final year. I need to do whatever it takes, same with the whole team,” he said in an earlier interview.
Winning his second UAAP title at the expense of long-time rival Ateneo should only make it sweeter for La Salle, admitted Teng.
“Sobrang excited ako dahil kasi I’m down to my last two to three games. Maganda rin na Ateneo kasi they beat us last game and we have something to prove pa. I think we’re going to show it sa Finals.”
Since losing some aura of invincibility following a stunning second-round loss to Ateneo, Teng admitted La Salle has been enduring tougher practice sessions under first-year coach Aldin Ayo, who’s eager not to let the Green Archers fall into any false sense of complacency.
“We’ve been practicing really hard, as in really, really hard. ‘Yung first two days after the semifinals was the hardest. But even after that we’ve been training each day kasi hindi pa namin alam kung sino makakalaban namin,” he said.
“It was tougher than our previous practices. Pahirap siya ng pahirap just like our season.” – Jerome Lagunzad
Follow this writer on Twitter: @BudoyLagunzad