RAIN or Shine rookie guard Jeric Teng gave a good account of himself during his first preseason game against Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday at the Ronac gym in San Juan.
Although he was coming off a two-week break since the UAAP Finals, the 6-1 Teng managed to contribute nine points in the E-Painters’ 90-95 loss to the Gin Kings in a game that also saw Ginebra unveil top overall pick Greg Slaughter and No. 4 pick James Forrester.
Teng said playing against Ginebra’s superstars Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand was unbelievable, considering that just a few years ago, he was only watching the two PBA MVPs play on television.
“Just a few years ago, sila pinapanood ko sa TV. Mga idol ko yan (Caguioa and Helterbrand) but I’m just happy nakarating na ako dito sa PBA. Sana I get a chance to play against them,” he said.
Teng, the No. 12 overall pick in Sunday’s draft, admitted he needs to whip himself into top shape while preparing himself mentally for the more physical brand of basketball in the PBA.
“Siyempre, kasama na yung physicality dun (PBA). I really have to work hard, spend more time in the gym. Though more of that (preparation) is mental eh. Just need to be prepared sa physical game, which I’ll do,” he added.
Teng said he is thankful he doesn’t have to play against Rain or Shine’s 'Extra Rice Inc.' big men led by Beau Belga and JR Quinahan.
“I’m just happy I won’t play against them (Belga and Quinahan), dahil mahirap eh,” the former UST shooter said with a smile.
“They are very good, even though they are undersized, they make up for it with their physicality. They play well, mauutak sila, at magagaling mag-screen,” he added.