JERON Teng was a tamed beast in AMA Online Education's 80-76 loss to Tanduay in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup quarterfinals on Thursday.
The AMA top scorer was limited to a conference-low six points on a horrible 1-of-15 shooting from the field, a far-cry from his usual double-digit output. He also collared six rebounds and dished out six assists.
But the former La Salle star was not one to make excuses, admitting he just simply struggled against the Rhum Masters the whole game.
"Start pa lang, they were doubling me. Nahirapan ako gumalaw, dahil bumabantay sa'kin sina (Paul) Varilla, (Bong) Quinto, tapos si Mark Cruz biglang magdo-double," said Teng, who played the entire match.
"Wala akong option to give up the ball, and medyo nahirapan ako to create for myself. 'Di ako masyado naka-diskarte," he added.
Teng, though, admitted they could have used the presence of ace playmaker Juami Tiongson, who left the team to join NLEX in its preparation for the PBA Commissioner's Cup beginning on March 17.
"Nawalan kami ng shooter na point guard, si Juami," said Teng.
"Si Juami dati siya yung nagiispace ng floor eh, 'di mo pwede iwanan yun dahil titirahan ka talaga sa three-points. Yun, tinake advantage nila yun," he added
But he was quick to laud the effort point guard Jason Riley, who stepped up in Tiongson's absence with 12 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
"Pero good thing si Riley really stepped up. Wala akong masabi kay Riley dahil despite his height, he's really a fighter. Pinakita niya yung heart niya this game," said Teng.
Although the Titans failed to make the semifinals anew, Teng said they are just looking at the bright side.
"Yun lang sayang. All season long, yung mga talo namin, close games lang. Sayang eh, parang may opportunity kami pero 'di napunta sa'min," he said.
"Yung AMA, kaya naman mag-compete dito sa D-League dahil (yung games namin sa) Racal, Tanduay, at CafeFrance, puro dikitan lang. Natalo rin namin dati yung number one-seed ngayon, yung Cignal. So it just shows na malaki potential ng AMA."