Jeric Teng last played in the PBA during the 2016-2017 season, when the Kia franchise was still carrying the Mahindra Floodbuster name. But even if it has been just mere months, it felt like Teng has been out of the pros for a long while.
“I really wanted to comeback and play dito sa PBA kasi ito yung dream ko,” the 26-year-old reflected, during the time he wasn’t being called up by PBA teams.
But now, in the 2018 Philippine Cup, Teng’s wish has finally been granted. He was called and signed this week by the GlobalPort Batang Pier, where their head coach, Pido Jarencio, was his mentor with the UST Growling Tigers years back.
“I never imagined that I will be playing again under coach Pido dahil I even didn’t expect to get a call from them in the middle of the [conference],” shared Teng, who was drafted as the 12th overall pick in the 2013 Rookie Draft. “So siguro blessing na din that I was given this opportunity.”
“And I’m gonna make most out of this.”
In his GlobalPort debut on Wednesday against the TNT Katropa, Teng walked the talk.
The six-foot-two guard-forward immediately displayed what he can bring to the table, finishing with nine points — all in the first quarter alone — on 3-of-4 three-pointers in the Batang Pier’s wire-to-wire, 99-84 victory.
“Siyempre yung excitement talaga na makabalik [nandoon]. Matagal-tagal din akong nawala,” said Teng after the game.
“Talagang excited ako coming into this game, tapos siyempre added confidence din and excitement din na under coach Pido, alam ko na yung sistema niya so mas confident ako sa ginagawa.”
Jarencio was all praises for what he had seen from Teng, whom he coached at UST from 2009 to 2013, where they shared two UAAP silver medals together.
“Yung second group namin, [led by] Jeric Teng, ang ganda ng balik dito,” lauded Jarencio.
“Go Uste, go Uste. May ganoon pang hugot e,” the ever-humorous bench strategist quipped, drawing laughter from the press.
Teng couldn’t be grateful enough to Jarencio and to the Batang Pier brass for giving his pro career some sense of revival. With that, he hopes that he will be able to stay longer with GlobalPort, which is his third team now.
“I worked hard on this one, and sana nga magtuloy-tuloy na and [I will] make the most out of it.”