WHILE the spotlight has been on star rookie Kiefer Ravena from the Ateneo Blue Eagles, another first-year player from rival school De La Salle University has been quietly making his mark in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Alaska Aces rookie Jeron Teng has been the surprise scoring leader for his team and has played a key role in their resurgence which resulted in three consecutive victories for the Fred Uytengsu owned franchise.
The Aces leaned on their fearsome full-court press to post a rousing 97-83 rout of rival Barangay Ginebra San Miguel last week with Teng playing a key role.
Teng was even more impressive when Alaska posted a one-side 102-65 rout of the Kia Picanto.
Teng was unstoppable in the third as he scored from drives, jumpshots and free throws. By his lonesome Teng outscored the entire Kia team 13-5 in that fateful third.
Teng finished with a game-high 23 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one steal to win Player of the Game honors.
Teng was supposed to a top 3 pick in the past PBA Draft. Somehow he was still available when the Ace picked at fifth spot. They were only too happy to select the former La Salle player.
Teng won two University Athletic Association of the Philippines titles in 2013 and 2016. In the process he also won two UAAP Finals MVP awards for leading La Salle to the throne. Before that he won the UAAP Rookie of the Year award in 2012. He is a four-time UAAP Mythical Five selection.
Teng can play either big guard or small forward. He is best leading a fastbreak attack and finishing with either hand near the hoop. He is bull-strong and relies on his great upper body strength to convert shots even after being fouled. He is an unstoppable scorer because of his skill, athleticism and determination.
Teng is a known winner who leads teams to championships. The Aces were indeed fortunate to have picked him at fifth overall.