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Flashback to MMTLBA history (part3)

By Henry Liao May 29,2020
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Flashback to MMTLBA history (part3)

By Henry Liao May 29,2020 - 03:32 PM

One of the most explosive scoring performances in Philippine basketball history came in a game in the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association (MMTLBA), the top high school league in the Chinese-Filipino community in Metro Manila from the 1970s through the early 2010s.

On January 5, 2011, Jeron Alvin Teng of Xavier School drilled in a mind-boggling 104 points in the Golden Stallions’ masterful 164-74 shellacking of Grace Christian College in the 41st renewal of the MMTLBA Juniors competitions held at the state-of-the-art Jacinto Tiu Court inside the Xavier School campus.

In his 104-point feat, the 6-1 Teng went 37-for-70 from the field (including one three-pointer) and 29-for-34 from the free-throw line. The son of former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) veteran Alvin Teng also collected 24 rebounds, 20 of them off the offensive boards, six steals and two blocked shots in 35 minutes.

The writer took this photo to immortalize Jeron Teng’s 104-point game for the Golden Stallions.

An hour before the game against Grace Christian College, the then-16-year-old, bull-shouldered Jeron was asked if he was going for 65 points, which would better the all-time Tiong Lian scoring mark of 64, which Eric Yao, also of Xavier School, registered during the 1998 season.

A third-year high-schooler, Jeron declared it might be difficult to turn in the trick.

That was before Teng’s Stallion teammates started to set him up as he marched closer to his date with Philippine history.

By halftime, Jeron had already netted 43 points and Xavier was comfortably ahead, 68-32.

The points continued to add up in the final 20 minutes.

It was 50 (79-34) on Teng’s three-point play. Sixty (93-38) came on another and-one by the former member of the Philippine Youth 16-under and 18-U teams and a participant during the 2010 World Youth Olympics held in Singapore.

With the count at 97-40, Teng had already duplicated Yao’s 64-point effort.

Seconds later, he achieved the new Tiong Lian record-setting 66th point (99-42) on a field goal with four minutes and 25 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Seventeen ticks later, Jeron connected on a twinner to conclude third-quarter hostilities with a total of 68 points and the Golden Stallions ahead by 63, 110-47.

Still, to get to the magical number 100, Teng needed to make another 32 points in the final 10-minute period.

Slowly but surely, Jeron reached the historic century mark – and more he did.

Teng tallied 19 of Xavier’s final 21 points, including the last 11.

Seventy came on a pair of free throws (114-49). A three-point play at the five-minute and 12-second mark gave him 80 points (136-61).

Eight seconds later, Teng knocked in a triple (139-61).

Jeron Teng won three MMTLBA Juniors titles with Xavier School.

With three minutes and 13 seconds remaining, Teng scored his 90th and 91st points (149-67).

Finally, with 54.1 ticks left, Jeron converted a pair of free throws to reach a historic 100 (160-72) as the predominantly Xavier crowd erupted in joy.

Two more baskets (162-72, 40.3 seconds left; 164-74, 24.9 seconds remaining) and Jeron Teng finished with 104 points for the highest individual score in RP high school basketball history at the time.

That year (2011), Teng also picked up his third consecutive Juniors championship and Xavier School made league history with its fourth straight Juniors title during which it also put together a 32-game winning streak over four seasons before it was snapped by Hope Christian High School in the opener (93-82) of the best-of-three final series after 13 straight victories by the Golden Stallions to start the season.

Xavier, though, came roaring back to take Games Two (104-76) and Game Three (77-66) at the Chiang Kai Shek College Main gym to snare the crown.

The Golden Stallions wound up with a 15-1 record overall in the seven-school competitions and Teng averaged 39.5 points, 14.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.88 steals during the 2011 season. He topped the league in points, rebounds and steals and ranked second in assists in one of the most dominating performances in league annals.

Xavier School snared a record-setting fourth straight MMTLBA Juniors title in 2011 behind (back row, left to right) Isaac Go, Jarrell Lim and Jeron Teng and (front row, second from left) Kyles Lao. All four players suited up in the UAAP at one time or another.

It was to be the 10th and last championship of Xavier School in the Tiong Lian league as Chiang Kai Shek College overcame a twice-to-beat disadvantage to upset the Golden Stallions in the semifinals and the Blue Dragons eventually romped away with their 15th championship overall by sweeping then-unbeaten Hope Christian High School, 2-0, in the finals.

Xavier School had been in the Tiong Lian Juniors finals for 11 straight seasons (2001-11), romping away with eight titles during the stretch. At one time, the Golden Stallions won three straight in 2001, 2002 and 2003, the last of which was a team built around Joseph Yeo (senior), Chris Tiu (junior) and Tyrone (TY) Tang.

Still and all, it was a heavily underdog Xavier team that earned the school its first championship on February 24, 1972.

The first Xavier School squad to capture the MMTLBA Juniors crown in 1972.

Led by ace shooter Alex Tan, who later played in the professional Philippine Basketball Association, Grace Christian High School (now College) was heavily favored to retain the crown after winning all of its six assignments in the elimination phase to earn a twice-to-beat advantage in the finals. Grace needed just another win over second-ranked Xavier School, which owned a 4-2 record with losses to Grace and Philippine Cultural High School (now College), to keep the title.

It was not to be.

The Golden Stallions beat the odds by beating the Graceans twice, 74-67, and 57-50, in the finals to capture their first-ever crown.

It was the greatest upset in the history of the Tiong Lian Juniors finals.

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