Jeron Teng out to repay Aces’ faith in him » Manila Bulletin Sports

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By Jonas Terrado

Jeron Teng can’t wait to prove his worth.

Eager to show the Alaska Aces that he’s everything a fifth overall selection in the PBA Rookie Draft should be, Teng has vowed to do everything he can to earn his way to the top.

Alaska didn’t hesitate in choosing the former La Salle star after Blackwater and Phoenix decided to draft Raymar Jose and Jason Perkins, respectively, to satisfy their need for help in the paint.

Jeron Teng

Jeron Teng

Aces coach Alex Compton had described Teng as a rookie who can make an immediate impact, which Teng hopes to fulfill.

“I’m for the challenger pero alam ko na siyempre PBA-level na ‘to and I have to start from zero,” Teng said. “Siyempre mag-start ako sa pinakamababa and I have to work for my minutes. Whatever I have to do, then I’ll do it. I’ll work hard even more.”

Teng will bolster a team that is out to bounce back from a disappointing campaign that saw the Aces miss the quarterfinals of the Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup marred by a 14-game losing skid in between the two conferences.

Compton, who had seen Teng back in high school with Xavier, feels that he had selected a player who has shown maturity to play in the big leagues.

“I thought this kid’s gonna be one of the top picks, one of the top three guys,” Compton said. “He can get you shifting some way. He’s quick but then if he just reach you by a quarter step he can power through the defense and he’s able to get to the free throw line so much ’cause the guys foul him trying to get the ball.

“He’s got wide shoulders, he can pivot and something I really like is he’s gotten older, he’s able to find the open man more when he drives. So it’s not just to the basket, now it’s to the basket while finding an open man. That’s a sign of growth and maturity,” he added.

Teng’s learning curve will see him play alongside Alaska star Calvin Abueva, who he had faced before as a La Salle freshman during a collegiate tournament in 2012.

He’ll also deal with the Aces’ system which emphasizes pressure defense, something Teng is familiar with during last year’s UAAP title run by La Salle under coach Aldin Ayo’s similar scheme called “Mayhem.”

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