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Rookie Jeron Teng, import Diamon Simpson return for Alaska

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Alaska Aces secure No. 2 spot with win (1:53)

The Alaska Aces secured the No. 2 spot and a twice-to-beat advantage after eliminating the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 114-91. (1:53)

All is well for Jeron Teng a month after sustaining stab wounds in an unfortunate parking lot melee in Bonifacio Global City.

A healthy Teng returned sooner than scheduled, lacing up on Friday in Alaska's 114-91 win over Phoenix in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

"I'm happy and blessed to be able to get back this conference. I'm just happy to be able to play again," said Teng with a smile when he talked to reporters outside the Alaska dugout at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The burly forward out of La Salle played as though he wasn't coming off serious injuries that confined him in the hospital for a few days.

In fact, he made the most of his playing time and finished with seven points, two rebounds, and a pair of assists without turning the ball over in almost 19 minutes of play.

"I'm thankful we have a great medical team, which did wonders during my therapy. Because of them I got back sooner than expected," he said in Filipino.

Teng, though, admitted he was still groping for form. But he hopes he will be in tip-top form in time for the playoffs where Alaska will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage after securing the No. 2 spot with an 8-3 card.

"I've been out for a month. My timing is off but I'm working on it," he said. "I'm lucky I was still able to play before the playoffs."

It wasn't only Teng who made a comeback.

Diamon Simpson also reintroduced himself to PBA fans after suiting up for Alaska, the team he led to the championship eight years ago.

"It's good to be back, the PBA is one of my favorite places especially with the Aces, it's like a family organization so I'm glad to be back," he said after leading the Aces to a 114-91 win over Phoenix. Simpson was as deadly as before.

The 30-year-old reinforcement, who replaced Antonio Campbell at the last minute, wound up with a double-double of 18 points and 19 rebounds to go with five assists and four blocks.

But he played down his stellar game, saying his teammates made his job easy.

"This team is really talented. I would say that our team is better than when we won it a few years ago," said Simpson, said Simpson, who played with the likes of Cyrus Baguio and LA Tenorio.

"Talent wise, there's a lot of players like tonight I didn't have to work as hard because a lot of players are good so that's a plus."

The last time he was here, he led Alaska to the Fiesta Conference championship against San Miguel Beer. When asked if he's gunning for a repeat, the 6-foot-7 import played it safe.

"If we win that's a plus but I think we should focus on playing hard, playing as hard as we can," he said.

"There's some pretty good teams here and we are in second place, which is easier that when I was here the last time so we'll see."