JERON Teng is not at all worried about losing playing time to incoming La Salle freshmen like Julian Sargent and Prince Rivero, who are expected to make noise in the coming UAAP Season 77.
In fact, the Green Archers star embraces the arrival of their promising rookie class in their bid for a back-to-back championship in the country’s premier collegiate league.
“Hindi naman (worried),” Teng told Spin.ph. "Syempre as a player, gusto mo 'yung may dumarating na makakatulong talaga sa team and siguro mas mag-off yung load sayo.”
The 20-year-old Teng averaged 15.4 points, seven boards, 3.1 assists, and .9 steal in 32.8 minutes last season, where he led the Archers to their first title since 2007 while emerging as the Season 76 Finals MVP against University of Santo Tomas.
And the entry of Sargent, Rivero, Abu Tratter, and Terrence Mustre will certainly take some of the burden off Teng.
Teng said among the rookies, it’s Rivero, the reigning NCAA Juniors MVP, who plays the same small forward position as him. Sargent is a combo guard, Mustre plays the 2-spot, while Tratter can thrive down low as a power forward.
But if La Salle follows the trend last season, where the Taft-based squad fielded just 13 cagers — three less than the maximum, the Archers already have al almost full roster with LA Revilla the only loss this year.
So it remains to be seen who among the rookies who have undergone residency will make the jump to Team A. La Salle can only accommodate all its rookies if the Juno Sauler-mentored squad drops some of its mainstays.
“Even the veterans are competing for spots,” admitted Teng, who is hardly concerned whoever makes the cut as they can all be a major boost to the Archers.
But Teng, one of two basketball-playing sons of former PBA player Alvin, was quick to insist that despite the buildup, he doesn't expect an easy ride to a second successive championship.
“Mahirip maging confident. Marami pang challenges. Hindi madali manalo ng championship.”