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Sliding to fifth, Teng grateful to get picked by Alaska

Jeron Teng was picked fifth by Alaska in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

Jeron Teng falling to fifth in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft may have come as a surprise to some, but that’s the least of the 23-year-old’s concerns.

“For me, it doesn’t matter when I was picked because I’m just happy making my dream to be a PBA player come true,” Teng, who was selected by Alaska, said. “Ever since I was young, I was looking to follow the footsteps of my dad. I’m happy that my name was called and went to a team that has a good reputation in Alaska.”

And how fitting is it that the La Salle stalwart will start his professional career with the same franchise his dad Alvin last played for in 2002.

“Everyone told me that in Alaska, they treat every one like family. So I’m happy that I’ll be part of the Alaska family here in the PBA,” the younger Teng said.

However, the 6-foot-2 swingman knows being in the top five also comes with its own sets of responsibilities, one of which is to fill the void left by the departure of gunslinger Dondon Hontiveros.

“I’m up for the challenge. But I know that I have to start from zero and I have to work for my minutes. If I have to, then I’ll do it, I’ll work hard even more. I want to prove myself here in the PBA and that’s what I’ll do. I’ll put more work into it,” he said.

Teng is also excited to play with Calvin Abueva.

“We know the kind of player he is, and if you see your star player giving that much energy, it’s going to be infectious. I’m very excited to play for him.”

One thing’s for sure, Teng won’t have much adjustments to make in learning the Aces’ defensive schemes especially its full-court press having played for Aldin Ayo, who is also known for his relentless ball pressure, at La Salle.

“We’re also pressing hard in La Salle, so I think if we do that here in Alaska, it won’t be new to me,” he said.

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