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As he vows to prove worth after sliding to fifth pick, Teng looks forward to team-up with Abueva at Alaska

Jeron Teng and Calvin Abueva will be in one team. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Before Blackwater said its intention on passing up on Jeron Teng as the third pick of the PBA Draft in favor of a big man, many early mock drafts had him at number three.

The mock draft that Dugout Philippines made on the eve of the draft still had Teng third overall as the remote possibility of the Elite going for the best player available is still there.

But come draft night, Blackwater indeed went for a big man by taking Toto Jose third overall.

Curiously, Phoenix, another team looking for bigs, chose burly stretch-4 Jason Perkins at number four, and Alaska found an opening to take Teng at number five.

For the six-foot-two winger, the draft order skid will just make him more motivated to prove his mettle in the league.

"I have to work my way from zero to the top, but I'm really desperate to prove in the PBA that I can ball," Teng said after his name was announced.

However, the Aces taking him fifth overall means he will team up with current star Calvin Abueva, and the rookie is gearing up for it.

"Very excited ako kasi we all know what Calvin is capable of, and when you see your star player hustling up like that, siyempre ma-i-influence kaming mga bago," Teng continued. "I really can't wait to play with Calvin. I really look up to Kuya Calvin."

Curiously, both Teng, listed at six-foot-two and Abueva, listed at six-foot-three, play the small forward position, but Teng, who said can showcase versatility in the game, is willing to slide down to the shooting guard spot.

"I play two or three naman, and sometimes one also. It really depends on what the coach asks me to do, but I'll be ready for everything," he vowed.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno