A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

It felt eerily familiar; two distinct types of decibels going at each other at full speed.  The cheers, the jeers, old bald men cussing the air, the drums and the vibrations it brought forth magnified the stark contrast between green and blue. It was Ateneo-LaSalle for the nth time and the ever-reliable The Arena in San Juan was registering seismic trembling. But it wasn’t basketball. It was Game 3 of the UAAP Season 74 Women’s Volleyball Finals between familiar foes from Taft and Katipunan. The first were the defending champs while the latter were enjoying the culmination of a mountain climb to relevance over the past few years.

As you may know, DLSU won Game 3 and the championship. The La Sallians had just too much length and athleticism for the Lady Eagles. They exhibited confidence backed by championship experience and talent while the Ateneans projected faces of confusion and maybe fear, proving that they needed one more year. The Lady Archers seemed like surgeons about to perform a routine operation —– been there, done that.

But the day was bigger than the back-to-back feat DLSU accomplished, or its budding rivalry with its ultimate nemesis. Game 3, the Finals series, showed that UAAP Women’s Volleyball has officially arrived like the NBA’s OKC Thunder.

For former UST standout and current volleyball analyst Mozzy Ravena, the recently concluded championship series proved a lot of things. For one, women’s volleyball has never been more popular, “Volleyball has been getting a lot of following since 8 years ago when the Shakey’s V-League started. It televised all its volleyball games with three conferences a year, which meant almost all year round,” Kiefer Ravena’s mom shares. “At the start, most of the following were from the provinces, then in the UAAP it was school-based, but now it’s mixed with fans from all over.”

Mozzy says that because of volleyball’s greater following these days schools are now giving importance to winning; and the first step to doing that is having a good recruiting program. Take for example the ADMU Lady Spikers who quietly built the second best team in Season 74 over the past few years. Ateneo inch-by-inch went from cellar-dwellers to title-contenders crossing paths with its greatest rival in basketball and bringing the no-love-loss relationship to the volleyball court.

“A new rivalry is born. It used to just be UST vs. FEU.” Mrs. Ravena adds. “Because of the rivalry, there is more awareness that volleyball is an exciting sport which leads to more support from the community and the fans nationwide.”

This burgeoning rivalry if sustained, will definitely fuel the league for years to come but as to any rivalry or any league it’s the players who are the mermaids of the circus. Lakers-Celtics had Magic vs. Bird. Ateneo-La Salle had Tenorio vs. Cortez. It’s Messi vs. Ronaldo in La Liga. The players make the team and the superstars are the league. And it’s now becoming apparent that UAAP Women’s Volleyball has its own superstars who will keep the fan base growing. As long as the fans see enough substance combined with an abundance of pizzazz in these girls, they will keep on coming. According to Mozzy Ravena, that combination has been drawing fans for the past few years, “Personally, I think Filipinos are iconic.  Even in sports they like to see personalities, pretty faces and success stories,” Ms. Mozzy who was a multi-titled volleyball player herself with UST explains. “When pretty girls started to play, and play really well, they started to draw fans.”

Rachelle Ann Daquis was the "Chris Tiu" of Women's Volleyball and started the wave of "pretty girls who can play".

Pretty girls who can play and interesting characters were on full display in Season 74 and the Finals series. You had Michelle Gumabao of DLSU who was relatively as intimidating as Shaq and who had the angas factor of Mark Cardona. She took on the enforcer role for her team and was seen as a swash buckling, taunting villain by the opponents’ fans. There’s her teammate, Finals MVP Cha Cruz who has a nice combination of timing, length, jumping ability and charming beauty: the prototypical Filipina volleyball superstar. On the other side, you had Lady Eagles captain Fille Cainglet who has Sarah Geronimo-appeal and feline jumping ability to back it up. Then there’s Gretchen Ho —- pretty, unassumingly talented and intense at the same time.

Pinoy sports fans always fall for athletes like these —- athletes with talent, character, and good looks —- attributes that have to be mutually inclusive. They know superstar quality when they see one.  They have to be able to relate to the sport and its stars. That’s why they’re like very coy girls; they’re so hard to get. But with a sport as exciting as volleyball and with athletes as interesting as these girls, I don’t see any reason why they won’t let their guard down; in fact, they already have. So it won’t be long until future volleyball stars will be compared to Cha Cruz and Rachelle Ann Daquis; not to celebrities like Shaq and Sara Geronimo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ODOM’S DOOM: from NBA Champion to a Legend

Nope. It’s not what you think. Lamar Odom is not a legend in its honorable sense. He is in fact a Texas Legend; a relegated NBDL player.  For an All-Star and a Champion, that’s about as low as you can go.

But it’s not like he didn’t deserve it. After 32 games with the defending champs, the reality star is averaging 8 points and 4 boards on 35% shooting; all career-low numbers by miles! His averages tell more than how poorly he played. It signified that he wanted no part of Dallas in the first place and his body language showed it completely. He shot three-pointers as if he was Willie Miller in the dying seconds; expected to miss and was surprised if the shot went in. He drove to the basket to commit a turnover not to make a play. If Dirk was not in physical condition, Odom checked out mentally and that’s worse.

Odom’s attitude in Dallas is as discombobulating as Inception. I expected him to play his best ball ever to make the Lakers realize what they lost. But instead he chose to be like a teenage rebel expecting Kobe and Kupchak to pity him. If there ever was an example of unprofessionalism then that might be it.

This child-like behavior is a product of one big thing: a bigger-than-my-balls ego that’s shaped by narcissism and a skewed sense of reality (isn’t that what reality shows are all about?). Lamar Odom is in an extraordinary state of psyche, which (for him) gives him authority to declare he’s sure about himself when he’s not. In his reality show world, he felt that the Lakers treated him poorly when they included him in a package for Chris Paul. Lamar felt sure that he deserved better but because what’s real is blurred for him, it seemed like he thought of himself as a superstar, an NBA player with a “franchise tag”, someone who’s untradeable, someone like his teammate. When killjoy Stern nixed the trade, Gasol moved on, Scola understood that it was all part of the business and so did everyone else; except for one.

After 13 years in the League, you expect Odom to know that the NBA is a business. I think he knew it was but he forgot about it. It’s hard to point out how he did but maybe it’s the Kardashian or the Hollywood effect that twisted his system into making poor decisions. He really did keep up with the Kardashians. They really fall for D’heads don’t they?

[In generously being fair to him, the death of his cousin in a car accident (in which he was a passenger and that killed another teenager) may have contributed to his listless effort. But what about Ryan Reyes of Talk n’ Text? Or Thomas Robinson of the Kansas Jayhawks? These guys were in the same situation but they played inspired ball instead of KSP ball.]

Even if he never plays a single minute with the Texas Legends, being thrown to a D-League affiliate is a disciplinary spit on the face he deserved. It definitely isn’t as catastrophic as Marion Jones’ or Z Gorres’ fall from grace but Lamar Odom won’t have any of our pity like both of the latter did. I’m sure he’ll get a chance to make-up. After all, it’s how you rise from a fall that gets more attention.

5-on-5 with Tony Dela Cruz and Charles Tiu (Part 1): Gilas 2.0

The Gilas 2.0 program is warming up. Coach Chot Reyes has been assigned as head coach amidst questions on the move being politically motivated. But people are more curious as to the composition of the sequel. So who would you pick as the starters? Who will be picked from the amateur ranks? How would Javale McGee fit in with the team?

1. If you were Chot Reyes (Gilas 2.0 head coach), who would be your regular starters in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships?

Tony Dela Cruz (Small Forward, Alaska Aces) : Pass

Charles Tiu (Powerade and Gilas Assistant Coach): Knowing Coach Chot and the International game, chances are he won’t have a fixed starting line-up especially with the talent that he will be handling but here would be my five:
C – Douthit
PF – Kelly Williams
Sf – James Yap/Chris Lutz
Sg – Marcio Lassiter
Pg – Jvee Casio

*Arwind is tempting but we need size at our PF spot and yes, he is a PF and not SF! Gary David and Alex Cabagnot were tough omissions in the first 5! Jimmy might be a good option but another year would mean even more mileage!

Bekshoot: We know that starting 5’s in international competitions are as volatile as DeMarcus Cousins’ temper. Coaches field varying sets of starters almost every game due to player exhaustion (since FIBA tournament schedules require teams to play quite a number of consecutive games), match-up adjustments and strategies (it always happens that coaches “hide” their Aces in the first part of the tournament). That being said, a coach still sticks to a core of players he trusts the most. So this is how my starting 5 would look like if I was Chot Reyes:

C – Marcus Douthit/Javale McGee
PF – Kelly Williams
SF – Chris Lutz
SG – James Yap
PG – Jvee Casio

But the more important group of five is the one that finishes the game. My “finishing” 5:

C- Marcus Douthit/Javale McGee
PF- Ranidel De Ocampo
SF – Chris Lutz
SG – Marcio Lassiter
PG – Jvee Casio

2. Give two of the hottest national team prospects from college or the amateurs. Why these two?

TDC: I think the 1 guy that comes to mind is Aldrich Ramos.  He is obviously tall but he can shoot and put the ball on the floor.  He seems to have a high basketball I.Q. and with a good weight program he will be a tough player to guard.

Tiu: Greg Slaughter and Kiefer Ravena. Greg because he is the only logical back-up for Marcus Douthit at center (Alaska won’t lend thoss). He’s already played internationally and is still improving.

Kiefer because he is just so skilled and talented and he is no doubt the future of Philippine Basketball. In fact, Toroman really wanted to get him to start training with the team as early as last year.

Bekshoot: With the talent that Kiefer Ravena has, I think he should be a lock for one of the spots that Gilas 2.0 will open for the Sinag members. The other prospect should have legitimate size to back up Douthit or McGee. Right now, it’s a toss up between Junmar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter.

3. Considering the pros and cons of Javale McGee’s game, how do you see him fitting in with the Gilas 2.0 team (if he decides to be a naturalized Filipino)?

TDC: I think McGee is a guy that allows Gilas to get out and run.  He definetly can finish around the rim but he can also defend at the rim and clean up the boards to allow the team to start the break.  I think he will struggle if they need him to make jump shots from beyond 12 to 15 feet but Gilas already has several shooters anyways.

Tiu: He would be a good fit – he rebounds well and will protect the paint, block/alter a lot of shots. That is one of our biggest weaknesses especially when we play bigger teams and Javale could help solve that problem. Also, with the talent of our guards and wing players, they have enough talent to just create for him and set him up for some easy dunks

Bekshoot:  I have apprehensions on getting Javale McGee to play for Gilas 2.0. Since finding out how deep MVP’s pockets are, there’s no other reason for McGee to play for us but for money. Secondly, when it gets dirty and Gilas faces adversity, would he play with heart and toughness? And isn’t he one of the most absent-minded players in the world (over Japeth Aguilar)?

But then again, has he played with heart and mental toughness in the NBA? No. So if he’s able to average a double-double and deny more than two shots a game in the NBA how much more can he get playing against Asians? I’ll take pros over the cons any day!

Japeth Aguilar: The Promise

Admit it. We all expected Japeth Aguilar to dominate the PBA someday. His never-before-seen-in-the-UAAP dunks validated that. Despite averaging only 5.7ppg 5.3rpg and 3bpg (2005) with the Blue Eagles, we all knew that it was just a matter of time until he tore up the league. And then we saw him with Courtney Lee at Western Kentucky; we were all salivating back then.

At 6’9”, 225 lbs. Japeth had arms that seemed to go on forever and not to mention, he jumped out of the building. There was simply no Filipino athlete like him ever that had the combination of height, otherworldly length and jumping ability. At that time, he was a 20-10 big man waiting to happen in the PBA. He was so full of promise.

Fast-forward to the present, Japeth Aguilar still has the same height, the same length, and the same leaping ability and has gained a few insignificant pounds. Oh. He still is a promise. After years of being raw, he still hasn’t started to thaw yet. 28 games into his PBA career, Japeth is averaging 8.75ppg, 5.25rpg and 1.75bpg in almost 20 minutes of action —- not exactly the type of numbers we expected.

Coming from a poor stint with Smart-Gilas, it seemed that the former Hilltopper would thrive in Chot Reyes’ pedal-to-the-metal system. Despite getting significant reps from his feiry coach, Japeth has underwhelmed and failed to meet expectations. The reasons for doing so aren’t that hard to see.

Overrated Defender

A big man’s defensive capabilities can be evaluated by looking at three separate and exclusive parts: his ability to provide help defense (block shots from the weak side, pick-and-roll defense, etc.), to defend the post and to rebound the ball.

Some analysts and commentators sugarcoat Japeth Aguilar’s defensive deficiencies by only looking at his shot-blocking prowess. Don’t get me wrong, he may be the league’s second-best shot blocker (next to Arwind Santos) but his inability to defend the post is too glaring. If you’re a keen observer, you’d see the eyes of opposing big men get bigger once they have Japeth on the block. Look at his face and you might liken it to a grade school kid’s who failed to study for a long test; stricken with fear and helplessness. The result: 2 points in the paint (maybe an and-1)!

A major part of being able to defend the post is putting weight against your opponent while he’s backing you down. Obviously, Japeth needs to gain weight and strength fast (TNT import Omar Samhan thinks so too: @OSamhan: I wish Japeth is doing push-ups right now). In addition, he needs to make use of his arms more to make it tougher for opposing big men to put up shots. How do you think Arwind Santos defends the post?

Low Basketball IQ

Although he’s got more problems on defense, Japeth hasn’t shown enough on offense either to stay longer on the court. 9 points in 20 minutes is not bad at all but we all know he can do better (same is true with rebounding).

The problem with him on offense is he either thinks too much or he doesn’t think at all (Doesn’t that sound like Javale McGee? Well, Javale can absolutely be dumb sometimes but he relatively has more game). He takes a jumpshot when the lane is open as the Red Sea. He softly dribble-drives to the basket when the paint is clogged like EDSA traffic and when the jumpshot was available in the first place. Picks and then pops instead of rolling hard to the basket.  He goes for an alley-hoop dunk even if the “lob” was just intended to be an entry pass.

I could go on with the lapses on offense but let me quote Rajko Toroman to sum it all up for you, “If Japeth had Chris Tiu’s brain, he would be in the NBA right now.”

Looking at the kind of player Japeth Aguilar is right now I sometimes resort to the what-ifs. What if he didn’t get injured in Western Kentucky? What if stayed with Ateneo and learned how to be a BIG MAN under Norman Black? No one knows. But with what Japeth physically has and at only 25 y.o., he still is very promising. I think he can still be great someday.

 

 

 

3-on-4 with Jeremy Lin: Defining, Understanding and Tempering Linsanity

LINSANE [lin-seyn]

Adjective

  1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a person who comes out of nowhere, utterly prepared, and exceeds expectations
  2. describing a person who gives new life to an organization
  3. pertaining to someone who nonchalantly inspires people from all walks of life while transcending racial barriers
  4. a person who saves Mike D’Antoni his job, who drops 38 on Kobe and the Lakers, who confidently hits a game-winner and who is suddenly playing exquisite basketball

LINSANITY (lin-sa-ni-tee)

Noun

  1. the state of being seriously Linsane

Three years ago, Jeremy Lin sat a few seats from me while I took the Boston T (its railway and the city’s most popular means of transportation). He had a hoody jacket on that said “Harvard Basketball”. I knew him then mainly because he and his Crimson teammates were having a fairly good season (later on they would beat my school, the Boston College Eagles who just came off a big upset of UNC at the time) and because I had a sense of pride for all New England sports teams.

After what he’s done right now, I feel a sense of hollow regret; I should’ve asked for an autograph or even talked to him. But just like in 1985 when Portland committed the “biggest blunder” in NBA history by passing up on the unforeseen greatness of The Greatest Ever, I wouldn’t have known three years ago that this Asian Harvard kid would be all he is right now. In fact, even the coaches of Ivy League schools like Cornell and Stanford did not even recruit him when he was a senior in Palo Alto HS.

The Linsanity that’s been going on as we speak is such a beautiful thing because no one saw the collision course that a scrawny, but ultra ready kid from Harvard and a team on the brink of utter disappointment was on.  It was ironically a cliché and a blue moon at the same time; everyone hopes for something Linsane to happen to them but it rarely does.

It would be nice for Linsanity to go on forever; but it won’t. However, to make this cosmic occurrence last, I think we should all temper the Linsanity so we expect real achievable things both from Jeremy Lin and from ourselves.

So for now, the least we could do is to understand Jeremy Lin as a basketball player. Here are a few questions answered by my guests and yours truly to help you understand where Jeremy Lin is right now and where he might bring the Knicks.

1. FACT OR FICTION: Is Jeremy Lin for real?

Joe Silva, Ateneo de Manila Blue Eaglets Head Coach: FACT

Jeremy Lin is for real. He has a good outside shot, decent athletic ability and is a very intelligent player. Not to mention his skills are above par. If he wasn’t skilled he wouldn’t score that much.

Miguel Papa, L.A. Lakers fan and Pateros Baller: FACT

Jeremy Lin is legit because he has uncanny court sense. He knows when to shoot, when to pass, where his teammates can do most damage, and which match ups to exploit. He knows how to read defenses, and is focused on winning the whole game.

Miakka Lim, PBA courtside reporter/FTW host: FACT

Jeremy Lin is for real. Although a lot of people would say that he fell into the perfect opportunity (cause he dint get a spot in Dallas and GSW), I think for him to be able to carry a highly touted NYK in 6 straight games and turn things around like how is doing- thinking that he came from outta nowhere says a lot about the heart and confidence of this guy. Jeremy isn’t even athletic but he is a smart player and he knows what works for him. It’s crazy. I don’t think you’ll find another player in the league that would step up like he did!

Bekshoot: FACT

109 points in his first 4 starts; that’s the most in NBA history (above the likes of Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Billy Ray Bates). I think his best skill is his decision-making, not necessarily passing or attacking the basket. If you can make Tyson Chandler and Steve Novak look like All-Stars, be the best player on the court while playing against the Lakers, and hit a game-winning 3 then no question, you are for real.

2. Is Linsanity>Ricky Rubio

Silva: IF

If he can sustain what he did the past five games then maybe Linsanity is better than Ricky Rubio! But Ricky Rubio who turned pro at age 16 is a world famous star already. And he has proven to everyone what he can do. So it would be hard to top what he has already done.

Papa: In some ways

Lin is better than Rubio in terms of fundamentals. Both players have a good feel for running a team’s offense, but given each player’s options, Lin is maximizing the production of people around him better. Unlike Rubio, he is focused on make the right play, and finishing a play, rather than getting into the highlight reels.

Lim: Rubio

As much as I would want to say Jeremy Lin, I’d have to go with Ricky Rubio. That guy has been a pro since he was 14. Enough said!

 Bekshoot: Small sample of games

If you only look at his past 5 games then you can say he is better than Ricky Rubio. But that shouldn’t be the case. Ricky Rubio has been the second best player in Minnesota after 27 games and even this sample isn’t enough. Maybe we can pick either of them at the end of the season. But for now, I think Jeremy Lin is a better scorer (has better potential because of the scoring ability) and penetrator while Rubio is a better passer.

3. Jeremy Lin, Melo and Amare will lead the Knicks to a deep postseason run.

Silva: Conference Semis

What the Knicks need is a pass-first point guard someone like a Jason Kidd who doesn’t hog the ball and they found that in Lin. both Melo and Stat have to buy into the system that has been winning games for them. If Melo and Amare get their acts together I can see this team gunning for a conference semifinals berth at least.

Papa: “Deep” is relative

We have yet to see NY’s new big three play together. Amare and Melo will have to learn to be effective without using up possessions, and as a team, NY needs to learn solid, consistent, team D. Going back to the question, the Knicks can make a push for a deep playoff run but tough match ups with the Heat and Bulls in the East can end their interesting season.

Lim: Yes

Yes, and that’s what’s going to make NYK lethal in the playoffs maybe. Just don’t let Melo play with the ball for too long. lol!

Bekshoot: Nope

Looking at the Eastern Conference playoff race, I see the Knicks finishing 6th at best even if Melo and Amare mesh well with Lin. They will draw either Philadelphia, Indiana or Orlando in the first round. Those teams are tough match-ups for them and I see New York losing in 6 or 7 games in the first round. But their best chance is against Orlando considering all the talk of Dwight leaving.

 

Why ‘Tim Tebow’ should ring a bell

There is a good chance you are not an American Football fan. Perhaps the football you know is the round one that bounces in a predictable manner. If by any chance you know of a guy named Tim Tebow then good for you. You must follow the National Football League or you must be a sports fanatic at the least. If the name does not ring a bell, then you are about to know why it should.

Tim Tebow plays quarterback for the Denver Broncos in the NFL. What’s interesting is that his statistics as a quarterback tell you that he is one of the worst, yet many analysts consider him as one of the best the League has to offer. For a major part of the season, Tebow and the Broncos have played so awful in the first 3 quarters of games that they find themselves facing huge deficits in the waning moments. As if on purpose and on cue, Tebow turns into an entirely different player and leads his team to improbable come-from-behind victories (6 out of 8 wins) showing unmatched courage and an unbelievable will to win (think Dirk Nowitzki and Gary David’s legendary fourth quarter performances; 6 of those!). Sports analysts all over America have been going crazy over what he has done and have been describing his performances as “out of this world” and “phenomenal”.

He is currently one of the most popular athletes in America because of those amazing fourth quarter performances; arguably more popular than LeBron (pun intended). The Tim Tebow craze has gotten so out of hand that his last name has been coined into a term. According to Tebowing.com, to “Tebow” is to get down on one knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.

Tebowing has turned into a phenomenon and they say that it is like planking, only sillier.

Well, there is nothing silly about how it all started. After the Denver Broncos’ first come-from-behind victory of the season against the Miami Dolphins, Tebow knelt down on one knee and started praying while more than 50 teammates and coaches were jumping and hugging each other.

Why should Filipinos care then?

When asked on how he tries to keep all of the success into perspective, Tebow replied:                                                        (quote from NFL Network video)

“The greatest thing with this sport and with the NFL is we have such a platform. And we can take that platform and we can influence the next generation. And that is honestly my passion and this week we got to announce that I was building a hospital in the Philippines. And this game means a lot but that hospital means more to me because that’s changing people’s lives. That’s giving people faith and hope and love. And you know, that’s more important and so my ultimate goal with this, with playing football is to be a great role model that a parent can look at their son and say you know that’s someone who’s trying to do it the right way. He’s not perfect but everyday he’s trying to get better and he’s trying to honor God and do the right thing, do what’s right and do what’s best.”

 Timothy Richard “Tim” Tebow was born on August 14, 1987 in Makati City, Philippines to American parents who were serving as Christian Baptist missionaries at the time. As a young boy, everyone needed their fathers to instruct them in the masculine verities. While other American fathers taught their kids how to tackle with ferocity, Bob Tebow taught his young boy how to worship and spread the Word of God.

After more than one score, Tim Tebow is still spreading God’s Word in the Philippines every NFL offseason. Right now, he is about to build a hospital in Davao City. According to CURE International, their partnership with Tim Tebow is a natural fit.  Both organizations share the same passion – to bring hope and healing to children around the world.

When I asked about the partnership’s purpose and goals, a representative from CURE International had this to say, “The mission and vision for the Tebow CURE Hospital is to bring physical and spiritual healing to disabled children in the Philippines,” he shares. “The 30-bed hospital will provide orthopedic surgery and spiritual services that would cater to the needs of disabled children in Mindanao supported in part by also providing surgical services to the private pay patients on the island.  The proposed facility will be located in the Davao city region that will be managed and operated by CURE International.”

Athletes and personalities like him are as rare as they come. It’s truly amazing how helping others is his main priority. Whenever analysts ask questions about football, he answers them with the Word of God and with his advocacy to help people in the Philippines. Whenever girls come with indecent proposals he says he is saving himself for marriage.

Tim Tebow is like Kim Kardashian in the sense that they are getting more popular for being famous. But ultimately, he is the antithesis of K.K.. He uses fame primarily as a platform for helping others, not to satisfy his vain needs. While Kobe, Michael, and Tiger all have had their mishaps (or rather mistresses), Tebow has God, and then football.

He is exactly the right person to be popular. Maybe just what America, the Philippines and the World need right now. That’s why “Tim Tebow” should ring a bell.

3-on-3: The “Skinny” on La Salle commit Jeron Teng

People know him for scoring 104 points in a high school game and for being the next son of a PBA legend to make noise in the UAAP. I’m afraid that’s all you know about Jeron Teng. Find out straight from him and from today’s best young players what makes the younger brother of Jeric Teng the most hyped high school senior this year.

How would you describe Jeron Teng’s game?

Kiefer Ravena: He is reliable both on offense and defense. He’s a strong, agile forward who can score and create for his teammates… It’ll be fun playing against him this year.

Joboy Tuason, Blue Eaglet Asst. Coach: The strongest player in HS. Upper body strength, walang tatalo. Best scorer in hs inside the 3-point line, lalo na sa paint. Can play 1-5.

Bekshoot: Jeron Teng is a forward with a very high motor. He has a very reliable bank shot. I think he’s a player who just knows how to put the ball in the hoop especially when he’s coming from the 3-point line and goes HARD to the basket. But contrary to what the Phenom said, I don’t think he creates that much for his teammates.

What separates him from other players coming out of high school?

Von Pessumal: I think what separates him is his experience internationally and his physique (physical strength). He has a body that is even stronger than most college players. That, combined with his experience playing against bigger and tougher guys will surely place him as one of the elite recruits this year.

Jeron Teng (himself): Probably what sets me apart from others is my experience. Cause at an early age, I was able to play in international leagues and play for our country. I’ve played in Fiba a lot of times and I also got to play in the Youth Olympic Games that was held in Singapore.

Bekshoot: It’s amazing that everyone I’ve asked unanimously says that it’s his experience and physical strength. Those two definitely separate him from the pack. I seriously think that he’s stronger than Japeth Aguilar. He has played against the best teenagers in Asia and he had some games where he was the Philippines’ best player (in a team that featured Kiefer Ravena, Von Pessumal, Russel Escoto, Mike Tolomia, Raphael Banal etc.)

How do you see him fitting in with the DLSU Green Archers?

Bekshoot: If you look at the Green Archers’ depth chart at the 3 spot, you have Marata, Webb and Tampus. Marata and Webb are on the twighlight of their UAAP careers so I don’t see them playing over Teng (and they have been busts to say the least). With Tampus emerging as the team’s best scoring option, I see Jeron sharing time at the SF position with him. However, DLSU’s best line-up might be Tampus and Teng at the 2 and 3 spots respectively.  Unless those two develop their shooting, they would have to play with the likes of Norbert Torres and L.A. Revilla; two guys who can stretch the floor.