Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone thinks newly-signed rookie Teytey Teodoro will immediately make his mark with the team as the new PBA season kicks in.
The gunner out of Jose Rizal University was signed by the Gin Kings to only a one-conference deal, but the league’s winningiest coach sees him sticking with the team longer after that.
“He can play in this league. He’s gonna get some minutes and have a future with us, I really believe that,” he said during the first-ever PBA Media Day at the Solaire Resort and Casino last January 10.
Cone bared that he was high on Teodoro’s potential and was eyeing him as he slid to the third round of the Rookie Draft held last December.
Unfortunately, Columbian beat them to the punch by plucking him with their first pick for that round. Ginebra then opted to select Matt Salem 11 picks later.
“I was actually looking for Teytey Teodoro, hoping to get him in the draft. We were eyeing him as he was falling, but they picked him in the third round before we could pick him up. We were shocked he even made it to the third round,” he revealed.
The 21-time champion didn’t stop keeping tabs on him after the draft, though, since it was still possible for Teodoro to be cut from Columbian’s roster. When that finally happened, they immediately swooped in with a deal.
“When we went on a break, I told my coaching staff to keep an eye on him and if he gets released, let’s pounce on him and grab him and bring him into our lineup. When they said he was released, we immediately talked to him and told him to come to our practices when we started,” Cone said.
“I’ve been following him for about a year and a half, so I’m really happy that we were able to pick him up.”
The rookie appears to have made the most of his chances with Ginebra early on, impressing in preseason action two days ago as Ginebra scored a 91-86 win against Phoenix.
“He was really great. He had 11 points in 18 minutes, but he just had this certain PBA presence about him. He wasn’t intimidated,” Cone described.
Teodoro and the rest of the Gin Kings will open their season against the TNT KaTropa today, 6 p.m at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.