Jeron Teng has what it takes to turn AMA into a playoff contender, says coach
Jeron Teng is set to be the cornerstone of a rebuilding AMA team in the D-League. Jaime Campos

AMA Online Education coach Mark Herrera is confident top draft pick Jeron Teng can stand as the pillar of a rejigged squad that can contend for championships in the PBA D-League.

Herrera is expecting Teng, coming off a championship run with La Salle in the UAAP, to make an immediate impact for the Titans when the Aspirants' Cup unfurls on January 19 next year. 

The AMA coach has no doubt that the power-playing Teng can turn around the fortunes of a team whose only holdovers are JR Taganas and Ryan Arambulo. 

"Actually si Jeron Teng, pag pumasok sa team yan, may improvement yung team (agad)," said Herrera. "Kailangan ng team namin 'yan ngayon kasi bata pa kami. Ngayon wala kaming foreigner so sa kanya kami nagbi-build. Napakalaking morale boost ito sa amin."

[See Full PBA D-League draft list]

Herrera said the team has started the process of signing Teng to a contract.

"Nakausap na namin parents niya and inaayos na lang namin papers nya."

With the two-time UAAP champion on board, Herrera is hopeful AMA will have a breakthrough season after failing to make the finals in its early years in the developmental league. 

"Every conference pumapasok kami sa quarterfinals. Sana this time around sa semis or hopefully championship na," he said. 

Aside from Teng, also picked by AMA in the draft were Jeepy Faundo, Embons Bonleon, Renz Palma, PJ Barua, Sabah Cox, Jason Riley, Kim Pojol, Nauie Bernabe, and Jay-Ar Gaco. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros