ADD Jeron Teng to the few cagers whose hearts are as big as their game.
Despite feeling under the weather, Teng carried Flying V on his shoulders in the final stretch and led the Thunder to a come-from-behind 83-78 win over Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Monday.
Fresh from playing for the national team in the Fiba 3x3 World Cup in France, Teng showed no signs of fatigue after checking in with 4:44 left in the second quarter and Flying V behind by 13 points.
The former La Salle star immediately made an impact as the Thunder sliced the deficit to six at the half, 34-40. His defining moment, though, came in the final two minutes when he dropped eight of the last nine points to lift the Thunder to their fourth win in as many games.
What impressed Flying V coach Eric Altamirano the most was Teng asking to be in the game despite not feeling well and barely resting after arriving from France on Friday.
"Nabuhayan kami nung pumasok si Jeron," Altamirano said. "I have to give it to Jeron, talagang before the game, he wasn't really feeling well. I think effect pa ito nung trip, ngayon pa lang nag-tetake effect sa kanya. But still, he said, 'Coach allow me to play. Let me play and help the team out.'"
"Jeron showed how professional he is in terms of helping the team," he added. "I'm just really proud of Jeron on how he took it upon himself na kahit masama yung pakiramdam niya, he forced himself to play. He knew how important this game is."
But the amiable mentor also heaped praise on his other players.
And with a bigger target on their backs, Altamirano urged his wards to stay consistent as the Thunder have just served notice to the rest of the league of their potential in just their maiden conference.
"I'm sure all the teams are targeting us kaya we cannot rest on our laurels. We have to continue working hard and improving as a team," he said.