Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Jeron Teng brings the (Flying V) Thunder

Jeron Teng brings the (Flying V) Thunder
by rick olivares

Watching Jeron Teng score the game winning basket for the Flying V Thunder in their D-League debut, stunning 86-84 win over the defending champions, Cignal, I couldn’t help but marvel at the young man’s abilities.

When he scored 104-points against Grace Christian High School in a Tiong Lian League game while playing for Xavier that said something about him as a basketball player. And he played the one-spot for Xavier! He displayed the full range of talents – he could score, rebound, pass, and defend.

As a rookie with the La Salle Green Archers, he showed uncommon steadiness and a willingness to ask for the basketball and to take the big shot. He did drop one in his rookie year against UST. And almost immediately, he seized the role of King Archer and he led the team to two UAAP championships.

The 6’2” Teng is one of those special players – a winner in high school and in college. And now he is bringing is winning ways to the D-League (playing his second conference but first with the Villavicencio franchise). He is one of those players with a knack for buying a basket and can affect a game on both ends of the court. Furthermore, he’s got top game intelligence.

When the Thunder were being put together, his signing was crucial. A key piece to a team that despite lacking in frontline strength, would make Flying V competitive. Along with Eric Salamat, Jeron is one of the team’s leaders.

During Flying V’s debut, with many of the team’s players in foul trouble in or in the midst of a horrible shooting day, Teng was incandescent. He tallied 33 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and two blocks. And once more, the game winner.

With 1:45 left in the game clock, Teng drove and scored to give Flying V its first taste of the lead, 80-79. After a huge defensive stop on the other end, Teng waved off his teammates. He wanted the one-on-one challenge with Cignal’s Harold Arboleda. He initiated his attack and as Arboleda backed off, he passed to an open Gab Banal, his Thunder teammate. Bang. It was 83-79 with 1:06 left.

A Pamboy Raymundo bucket and a Davon Potts’ trey gave Cignal an 84-83 lead with 7.6 seconds left. Enough time for Teng’s heroics.

As the Thunder walked off the floor last night at the Ynares Center in Pasig City, assistant coach Joey Guanio sidled up to me and said, “Iba yung puso nung pinakita nung Teng (at ng Thomas Torres). Ayaw magpatalo.”

Inside the joyous Thunder locker room, head coach Eric Altamirano said, “Kung meron sila (Cignal) Davon Potts, meron tayong Jeron Teng.”

And the team erupted into cheers.

In a few months’ time, when the 23-year old Teng goes to the PBA Draft, he will surely be a Top 10 pick. Any team that adds him will bring in an impact player and a game changer.

It is going to be exciting and interesting to see how he fares in the pro league. However, I wouldn’t bet against Jeron Teng.

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