JERON Teng is making his first finals appearance in the pro league, eager to earn his first championship and follow in the footsteps of multiple PBA champion father Alvin.
Teng is expected to play a key role for Alaska in the Governors’ Cup title series against Magnolia starting on Dec. 5 in only his third conference as a pro.
And for a young freshman like him, playing in the finals is truly a blessing.
“Not all rookies get to play in the finals, and I have an opportunity to win a championship pa. So it’s really a good opportunity for me and I’m super excited,” said the two-time former UAAP finals MVP out of De La Salle during the pre-finals press conference held Tuesday at the Sambokojin Restaurant in Libis.
He has for his father, former PBA player Alvin Teng, as inspiration.
“Siya talaga nag-influence sa akin to play basketball, and siyempre gusto ko sundan yung yapak niya,” said the 24-year-old wingman.
“Si Dad ko nanalo siya ng maraming championships, so hopefully, I get the same opportunity sa career ko.”
The younger Teng said he isn’t aware how many championships his dad won in a career spanning from 1986-2002, starting with San Miguel Beer and ending, ironically, with Alaska.
For the record, the Teng patriarch, nicknamed ‘Robocop’ won a total of nine championships, including a grand slam in 1989 while donning the Beermen uniform.
One of the league’s top defensive players of his era, Alvin Teng was named six times to the All-Defensive team. A five-time All-Star, he was the league’s Most Improved Player in 1988.
Jeron is certainly getting the best advice.
“Sabi lang niya sa akin, lagi kong sisipagan lang inside the court. Aside from offense, yung small things such as getting rebounds, boxing out, defending. Yun ang sinasabi niya, malaking bagay yun lalo na sa finals,” he said.
Now that he’s in his first title series, Jeron hopes to win a breakthrough title as a pro in what he wishes would be the start of something more.