JERON Teng is well aware being a first-round pick doesn't guarantee him a slot in Alaska's rotation.
Such is a privilege that is earned, not given.
That's why the No. 5 pick overall in this year's PBA rookie draft has made it his personal mission to put in the extra work night in and night out, coming to the gym early and leaving long after everyone else headed home.
A handful of reporters witnessed just that on Thursday after Alaska's closed-door practice at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
His teammates and coaches already out, the former La Salle star was still doing drills to fine-tune his game in time for the opening of the 43rd PBA season on December 17.
"It's not gonna be easy because I have to earn my playing minutes here. I really have to work hard for it," said Teng, drenched in sweat as he talked to a couple of reporters.
Things are bound to get tougher, in fact, in the weeks to come as Alaska steps up its preparations for the coming Philippine Cup.
Teng, though, is unperturbed.
Whether he gets the minutes or not, the burly forward will continue working hard for a team which, in his own words, treats him as a family.
"First time ko pumunta dito tapos yung dugout namin kumpleto. Lahat ng klaseng recovery andito na," he said.
"Dun palang makikita na inaalagaan talaga players. Lahat nagsasabi sa akin na trato talaga dito parang family."