King Archer's Farewell

BY ADIEL SAM DE JESUS

BY ADIEL SAM DE JESUS

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Since coming in as a rookie in 2012, Jeron Teng stands as a vital cog in every campaign of the Green Archers in the UAAP and other tournaments on the side. After four outstanding years as an Archer, the Xavier standout aims to cap his stint in Taft with another championship.

A stint of excellence

Known as the player who scored 104 points in a high school game, Jeron Teng did not disappoint us as he became the cornerstone of the Green Archers as expected. Recruitment previews and outlooks turned into reality when he donned the Green and White.

In his rookie year, Teng was hailed the best among his class as he carried his team to a Final Four stint. With four playing years in his collegiate career, he only missed the Mythical Five once back in 2013. However, that year was DLSU’s championship season where he was named Finals MVP.

Last season 78, the King Archer was finally given the responsibility to be the team captain of a young and talented squad that paraded nine rookies. This season, Teng will return as the leader of the squad as he tries to add spice to his colorful stint as an Archer.

Takeaways and outlooks

Being the captain of a talent-laden squad, Teng (JT) shows a team concept in his views during his one-on-one interview with Animo Magazine (AM). He looks at the season as an entirely different one with new coaches, new system, and new set of players. Given their sweep of the FilOil preseason tournament, the King Archers foresees a season with a positive attitude along with his teammates as he embarks on another year as the team’s lead man.

AM: As a whole, what is the difference of this team from last season coming in to the UAAP?
JT: This year, dala dala namin yung pain from last year that we didn’t even make it to the final four. I think we’re really really hungry this season and we’ve got a lot to prove with a new coach and Ben is coming in. We’re just hungry and it’s really exciting this year. Everybody knows that we’re really going to trap all game long and expect it to be a run and gun game.

AM: How do you take part in the transition process from last season to this season?
JT: First, what we did is we really embrace the system and we have to adjust quickly. As a captain, it’s also my responsibility to guide them that we’re all in one page.

AM: Given that you have five rookies plus Ben, how do you see the team with a new set of players coming in?
JT: Actually si Ben, we don’t really consider him as a rookie kasi he’s been here longer than the rest of the other guys and he doesn’t play like a rookie. Sa iba, I think we have a good bunch of rookies this year and I think they really will be able to help our campaign this year and for sure sila yung future leaders in the years to come.

AM: Compare the current lineup from the 2013 championship team.
JT: The way we play is really different. In 2013, we have the luxury of big men. We played it half court and ‘yung pace namin hindi ganung kabilis. Unlike this year kay Coach Aldin gusto nya takbuhan talaga.

AM: As an athlete, how do you adjust to the system?
JT: As an athlete and as a basketball player, you have to accept that change is normal. You’ll be handled by different coaches and as a player you really have to adjust quickly. You really have to adjust to the coach you’re playing for. Ready lang for changes.

AM: Thoughts on having three coaches in your collegiate career.
JT: Lahat ng coach they bring something new. All my three coaches in college, I really learned a lot from them. It also helped me with my game. Every coach really taught me something new.

AM: What is your personal mindset coming into the season?
JT: It’s my last year. I have nothing to hold back anymore. This is my last chance in winning another championship for La Salle and there’s really no holding back. Lahat ibibigay ko na and I’ll do whatever it takes for us to win another championship.

AM: How do you deal the idea of your team being the favorites to win the championship?
JT: As a team, we just have to stick together. We don’t have to listen to other non-factors. We just have to focus what’s inside of the circle. The team, the managers. For us, we really have to work hard for it. If we’re not going to work hard, for sure we’re not going to make it. In practice, we really push ourselves to improve every time. We’re really competitive.

AM: In Letran’s championship team composition last year, who do you see as your role counterpart in Coach Aldin’s system?
JT: He’s not trying to replicate any of his previous team. Kami ibang team from the Letran team. For sure, Coach Aldin also adjusted to our team. Marami syang adjustments na ginawa in coaching La Salle.

AM: What do you think became instrumental in the evident closeness of the team today?
JT: We learned more from each other. We have team building sessions where we have to share. From there, mas naintindihan naming yung isa’t isa and mas nagging close kami.

AM: Outlook of the whole team going in.
We know it’s not going to be just an uphill season for us. For sure there will be ups and down. What’s important is that we really stick together. No matter what happen, we have to stick to our system.

To quip the interview, Animo Magazine requested Jeron Teng to deliver four different messages he want to stick on all throughout the season.

To himself:
I just always have to remind myself that it’s my last year. There’s really nothing to hold back. I’m a kind of person that don’t want to regret things kaya lahat talaga ibibigay ko na this season.

To the Coaches:
Just know that, us, players will really stick with the system. Just like what the system demands, we’re really going to trap in every game. The coaches can expect that from us that when we trap we’ll really give our best.

To his teammates:
It’s not going to be an easy season for us. For sure we will be tested but we’ll be ready for the system. Our team is like a brotherhood already and we’re going to stick to ourselves no matter what happen.

To the Lasallian community:
I just hope that you guys supports us this year on our campaign to win another championship. Our team will really just promise to give our best and we’ll try everything to make them proud and bring back the glory days here in La Salle.

JT’s swan song

More or less, this comprises the thoughts of the 3-time Mythical team member in his final playing year for La Salle. For four years, Teng provided hustle, energy, scoring, leadership, and technically everything he has for his team. This season, as he takes a journey to his final dance, it is clear what the King Archer have in mind in his farewell – a championship. A

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