MANILA, Philippines -- Before the PBA season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic in March, Jeron Teng was all set to play a bigger role for the Alaska Aces in their campaign.
In February, Dickie Bachmann, the team's governor, went so far as to say that they will "revolve the team around Jeron" in the coming season.
Fast-forward to seven months later, and Alaska has yet to play a single game in the PBA season. All league activities were halted just three days after the opening of the 45th season due to the health crisis, and as of now, there is no certainty that games will resume.
If and when their campaign starts, however, Teng said he is ready to meet Bachmann's expectations.
"With Coach Jeff (Cariaso), he really challenges us all to be leaders," Teng said during a recent appearance on "2OT."
"Siyempre, ang dami naming rookies, we have four rookies, and may mga trades kami. So parang nag-end up, isa na ako sa mga matatagal doon," he added.
Among Alaska's rookies are Barkley Eboña from Far Eastern University and Jaycee Marcelino from Lyceum of the Philippines University. They also acquired Mike DiGregorio in a trade with TNT.
Teng said one of his responsibilities now is to teach the rookies the values of Alaska, particularly the selflessness and teamwork that have been the hallmark of their franchise.
"(I'll be there) to guide lang 'yung mga rookies, especially 'yung tagline namin na 'We Not Me,' para we're all in one page," said Teng.
"Lahat ng mga natutunan ko sa mga older veterans ko, I'm just trying to pass it on sa mga younger guys," he added. "We're building a culture lang na we all help out each other and we all take ownership of the team."
"Lahat kami maging leaders and lahat kami maging responsible for the team's well-being."
As an individual player, Teng is also ready to show his improvement. He played just five games for the Aces in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup, averaging 15 points and nearly eight rebounds.
"I'm really excited, so sana nga makabalik (ang PBA)," said Teng. "I really want to prove myself rin. Sa next conference, maging healthy ako, and sana mapakita ko na 'yung game ko talaga."
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