By Jonas Terrado

Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso acknowledged that Jeron Teng will need to raise his game to another level as he enters his third season in the PBA.

Alaska's Jeron Teng goes for a layup against two NorthPort defenders. (PBA Images)

Alaska’s Jeron Teng enters his third PBA season filled with high expectations. (PBA Images)

“Jeron’s a big part of what we do and he’s a big part of our future so we’re gonna rely on him to be that solid three guy,” Cariaso said after Alaska defeated South Korea’s Dankook University 129-101 in Sunday’s tune-up game at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City.

“When you’re the three guy (small forward), you’re expected to play both ends so that’s one thing he needs to kinda accept. He’s got a couple of years under his belt, di na siya bata so he has to understand that his role, his expectation even coming from himself, has to be higher.”

Cariaso was reacting to a statement made by team governor Dickie Bachmann, who bared that the Aces expect bigger things from the former La Salle star.

Bachmann said that the “plan is to revolve the team around Jeron” for the 45th season which starts with the Philippine Cup on March 1.

Teng averaged 15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup, but played only five games after missing the early part of the tournament because of a right hamstring injury.

His campaign in the season-ending conference was cut short when he hyperextended his right knee late in a mid-November game against Phoenix Pulse.

He averaged 12.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 13 games during the Philippine Cup and 9.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 14 games in the Commissioner’s Cup.

Alaska is aiming for a much-improved campaign after barely making the quarterfinals in all three conferences last season as Cariaso enters his first full season as coach.

“How we do things here, we play together,” said Cariaso. “But we always have that one guy who’s able and can step up pag kailangan. We’re hoping him to be one of those guys.”

Source: Manila Bulletin