Prolific Teng leads UAAP rookie bunchBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A FORMER high school scoring champion leads a stellar rookie cast when Season 75 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament fires off this Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle’s Jeron Teng, who once exploded for 104 points in a single game with Xavier, heads this year’s batch of freshmen that also includes Philippine youth team stars and several foreign standouts.
“I know there’s a big pressure on me, but I know my teammates and coaches are here to help me,” said Teng, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard and son of former PBA cager Alvin Teng.
National youth team members Gideon Babilonia and Kris Porter, both 6-foot-5, will suit up for four-time champion Ateneo, while Henry Asilum will try to help turn around the University of the Philippines’ campaign.
“Babilonia has a shoulder injury so we don’t expect him to start off yet, so it will be Porter who will be the one getting playing time,” Ateneo coach Norman Black said of his two new big men.
Both Babilonia and Asilum, a 5-foot-7 point guard from Cebu, saw action with the Energen Pilipinas under-16 squad that captured the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) crown and finished a fourth in the Fiba Asia last year.
Foreign cagers Anthony Hargrove (American) of Far Eastern University, Henri Atanga Betayene (Cameroonian) of National University and Matthew Ball (American) of UP are also expected to make an impact.
But Ball, a nephew of former PBA star Bong Hawkins, has yet to complete the documents the league requires from foreign players.
“We’re processing it already, the documents will be ready before the second round,” said UP coach Ricky Dandan.