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Jeron Teng happy to reunite with Altamirano in Alaska

New Alaska Aces assistant coach Eric Altamirano; inset: rookie Jeron Alvin Teng | Philstar.com Photos/Denison Rey Dalupang

MANILA, Philippines — It seems like Jeron Teng and Eric Altamirano are inseparable. 

Teng, who had grown into a collegiate champion and a national team player in the seniors’ division, has found his way back to the decorated Altamirano in the Alaska Aces’ fold.

“Sobrang happy ako kasi si (andito) si coach Eric,” the rookie said. “He’s been a mentor to me. I've learned a lot from him.”

Teng has played over and over for Altamirano. Their partnership began during the former’s high school years with Xavier School, where Altamirano lent his services to the juniors national team in Under-16 division of FIBA Asia Championships in 2009.

The youngster went on to be a steady force in the amateur circuit thanks in part to his participation in Altamirano’s National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) program.

They again saw action together when they took the PBA D-League Foundation Cup by storm via the FilOil Flying V Thunder, reaching the finals despite being newcomers.

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“I can’t wait to play na talaga,” Teng, who was chosen fifth overall in the draft, offered. “Siyempre mabibigyan pa ako ng tips ni Coach Eric para sa PBA.”

Altamirano was named into the Aces’ coaching staff earlier this week. He joins Danny Ildefonso as Alex Comptons’ deputies, replacing Louie Alas and Topex Robinson who moved to Phoenix.

But don’t get the mentor’s rookie tag fool you. Altamirano is one of the most decorated in the coaching bunch having won on the high school, the college and even on the pro level, as a coach.

Ildefonso, on the other hand, is one of the best big men to ever play the game. 

“Very optimistic ako,” Teng said of turning around Alaska’s forgettable 2017 season. “‘Yung coaching staff is very experienced na sa PBA. In-eexpect ko talagaa na marami akong matutunan from them.”

The Aces will get to test their how far their rookie haul will take them when the PBA’s first conference opens this December 17.


 

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