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PBA: Teng tabbed at No. 12

by Waylon Galvez

JERIC TengMany were surprised when Jeric Teng’s name was not called in the first round of the PBA Rookie Draft yesterday.

That caused the former University of Santo Tomas hotshot to be feeling tense and edgy while looking at the players drafted in the first round.

But when his name was finally called –12th overall pick by Rain or Shine – Teng was greeted excitedly by his fans who wondered earlier why such talent was not taken in the first round.

That enabled Teng to heave a big sigh of reliet – at least he’s now in the PBA.

The 6-foot-2 guard took that positively, knowing that playing for Rain or Shine under coach Yeng Guiao could be a perfect start to a new career.

“I know I’ll learn a lot of things under coach Yeng. I’m thankful that Rain or Shine took me in,” said the 22-year-old Teng, who will join the franchise owned by Terry Que and Raymond Yu.

His father, former PBA player Alvin Teng, also did not mind it that he was only a 12th pick believing he has a bright future ahead.

“Hindi naman importante yun, ang importante ma-draft ka, at ang mas pinaka-importante, e ‘yung makapag-pakita ka at maka-tulong ka sa team na pumili sayo,” said the elder Teng, who was accompanied by youngest son, Jeron of UAAP champion De La Salle University.

Teng, who is joining a loaded backcourt consisting of Paul Lee, Chris Tiu, TY Tang and Ryan Arana, is coming off an impressive senior season with the UST Tigers as he averaged 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists in the elimination round.

He elevated his scoring to 23 points in the Finals on 44 percent shooting from the field versus DLSU, although UST lost in the best-of-three series, 2-1.