Reigning Rookie of the Year, Jeric Teng is our latest Featured Teen! Read the Pinoy Teens EXCLUSIVE Interview with the TENGMINATOR of the UST Growling Tigers!
The “Tengminator” aka Jeric Allan U. Teng is recently concluded UAAP Season 72 Basketball’s Rookie of the Year. Jeric stands 6 ft. and 2 inches and weighs 170 lbs and plays in the Small Guard position for the UST Growling Tigers–one of the top 4 teams of this season. Jeric was born on March 18, 1991 and is currently taking up BS Commerce in the University of Santo Tomas.
Albeit Jeric calls himself as someone merely “lucky”, digits earned in the hardwood prove that the Tengminator does not simply rely on luck alone. As a matter of fact, during his rookie season, he garnered an average of 11.4 points, 4.4. rebounds and 1.6 assists per game–something you can hardly expect from a rookie like him. Sometime also in the season, he gained himself a series of good records by earning 18, 20 and 22 personal points in a 3-game stretch.
It is a widely known fact that Jeric is one of the sons of PBA retiree Mr. Alvin Teng (San Miguel). But instead of relying on connections and links that his father has for him to be able to penetrate into the professional league someday, Jeric sees his connection with his father as a positive pressure and not as a safeguard. Coming from a family of men who have exceptional IQs in the prowess of basketball, Jeric is someone whom we can really call gamay ang bola. During his high school years in Xavier School, he was able to bag the MVP award when he led the Tiong Lian Basketball League in tournaments. He is also a recipient of a very prominent award from Xavier School when he graduated which is the Rafael Cortina Athletics Award.
Unlike many basketball players around, Jeric does not confine himself inside the walls of the court alone. Jeric describes himself as someone who gets fun trying new and exciting things. As a matter of fact, he joined the roster of models for Dickies in the recently concluded Philippine Fashion Week 2009. Aside from this, he also loves hanging out with friends, playing table tennis, badminton and swimming.
There is certainly no doubt that The Tengminator will be the next big thing in the basketball arena someday–aided by the fact that he already has the strong and good foundation, the right motivation, the passion for playing, both feet on the ground and the right guidance and facilities from UST and Coach Pido.
A little Q and A with the man under the light:
Aside from basketball, what takes a fraction of Jeric Teng’s time?
- Hanging out with friends.
Do you play other sports besides Basketball?
- I enjoy swimming, badminton and table tennis.
In all years in college, the most crucial years are the freshman and senior years. In the freshman years, you do a lot of adjustments for you to be able to adapt in the new environment you are in. How were you able to manage pulling off everything with basketball given that you were also able to bag the Rookie of the Year title?
- Well, I was used to balancing basketball and studies in Xavier so I did not need to do much adjustments. And for the Rookie of the Year award, I just got lucky.
Does having Mr. Alvin Teng as a Dad and having an equally good brother pressure you in a way in basketball? If yes, in what way and if no, why not?
- Yes because I am pressured if I can follow the footsteps of my dad, a professional basketball player. With my brother, I often get compared to him. A lot say he is much better than I am. I just continue to practice and stuff, I am happy for my brother though.
Do you plan to go professional someday too?
- Yes, if possible.
Many basketball fans think you’re going to be the Chris Tiu of your generation because of factors like both of you are alumni of Xavier, you have a lot of fan girls in games and because of your basketball prowess. How do you feel about this?
- Well, I feel like I am honoured or something to be compared with Chris Tiu. But I still think that I have a lot more to improve and do to be like him.
Does it feel more like a compliment or a pressure to you?
- Both, I guess.
Among all of your teammates, with whom are you closest with?
- It’s really hard to tell. I think I am close with everyone. I see to it kasi na I communicate with all of them. We all have the same likes naman so we all get to be close and stuff
What is the most memorable game that you have played so far?
- I think the game against UP in the first round.
Why is that so?
- I think that was my best performance
What is the best thing about playing for UST?
- Siguro the Thomasians are very supportive when watching and cheering for us. It really gives us a nice feeling when we see them watch and cheer for us. It makes us WANT to play
What is the hardest thing about playing for UST?
- Well, people expect a lot from me and I am not sure if I met their expectations of me; and siguro getting negative comments when we lose or when I don’t play well.
According to our research, you have been playing in the hardwood since high school. Many people stop playing once they step into college because they’ve already lost the drive. How do you keep the passion alive?
- Well I don’t actually do something to keep my passion for basketball alive. Since childhood, I knew already that I want to be a basketball player—a pro someday. I just love the game.
Many of your fans got surprised (positively of course) when you joined the roster of models in the recently concluded Philippine Fashion Week for Dickies and you did a pretty good job. How does it feel to be one of the models there?
- It was fun but kakanervous at the same time. Kasi we did not make it to the rehearsals so we did not know what to do. We just walked and then that was it (laughs). But it was a fun experience.
So should fans already wait for your next modelling stint? Haha. Or maybe for you to appear in one of the top magazines’ centerfolds one of these days? Or will this Dickies thing be the last “sexy” thing you’ll do for now? Do you see modelling the same way you see basketball too?
- (laughs) Well I am open to any naman eh. I get happy when I get to do new stuff. Well modelling siguro pang past time lang or something (laughs).
So possible pa? Basta may offer na okay?
- Yeah but basketball first.
Many people describe Jeric Teng as a “well-toned” boy. Well-toned in terms of body, looks, basketball skills and social graces. But since we’re talking about your recent modelling stint, which part of your body are you most proud of?
- (LAUGHS) That’s not true. I don’t have a well-toned body. But I am happy siguro with my arms. My siblings say it’s nice so yun. (laughs)
The likes of you and Chris Tiu are every Filipino girl’s type kasi raw chinito, basketball player and very gentlemanly. So what kind of girl is the ideal girl of the likes of Jeric Teng or of someone who is typically chinito?
- (LAUGHS) That is interesting. Well for me, I like girls who are really sweet and maalaga. That’s really my type.
Are you the type who wants girls who like do the first move or you want girls who are in the conservative side?
- Well just the normal. Sa gitna. (laughs)
What should fans expect Jeric Teng in the next UAAP Season?
- Well, I will work hard now that it’s off season. I will play better, hopefully. I have to since Ababou, Mirza and Maliksi cannot play na.
What are your words of encouragement and/or tips for aspiring student athletes?
- Well, just keep on practicing and getting better ans SKY is the limit. Don’t get contented with how they play. There are always room for improvements. Hardworkers can sometime beat talented players like in my Dad’s case.
So do you actually dream of beating your Dad too someday?
- Yeah, I want to be as successful as him.
What is your message to your supporters?
- Thanks for the support. I hope they don’t get tired of cheering for us. We will always try to give glory to UST.
What can you say about The Tengminator?
Philippine Fashion Week photos of Jeric Teng from Almira Teng and Queennie Chua