Filipino basketball players

Viral one-legged Pinoy baller inspires Pingris, hoop stars

Naveen Ganglani
Viral one-legged Pinoy baller inspires Pingris, hoop stars

HOOP WONDER. Donations pour in for Kuya Teng Wenceslao.

Contributed photo

Meet Teng Wenceslao, the viral one-legged mechanic who continues to play basketball regardless of the challenges

Over the last few days, videos of Titeng Wenceslao playing hoops barefoot – and doing it well – have circulated the social world. 

The 39-year-old Wenceslao, better known as Kuya Teng, lives with only his left leg, yet that disability fails to deter his spirit, which in part is strengthened by his love for the game.

Once the Instagram account HoopJunkie started posting videos of Teng – something the social media account traditionally has done for Filipino ballers who send their own highlights – the response was electric. 

Many were motivated by Wenceslao’s determination, while a few others reached out, offering to help, including college and pro ballers. 

HoopJunkie, whose real name he prefers to keep anonymous, told Rappler he first discovered Kuya Teng’s one-legged hooping ways through a TikTok video sent his way.

Na-inspire ako, seeing him play with one leg, not just shooting the basketball, but also dribbling and nag fa-fade away pa!” he said. 

(I was inspired seeing him play with one leg, not just shooting the basketball, but also dribbling and even doing a fadeaway!)

Wenceslao, who didn’t reveal how he lost his leg, is a Leyte native who currently works two jobs. He’s a mechanic who fixes the braking system of trucks and also a food provider for some employees of J&T Express. 

In his free time, his preference is to do one thing – play the game he loves – regardless of the challenges.

“He plays a lot,” shared HoopJunkie. “Bata pa lang siya, naglalaro na siya (He’s been playing since he was young). After his accident, he stopped playing, because he was recovering, but little by little, he gained his confidence to play again.”

Here’s a bit of a scouting report for the one-legged man, according to the user who spends plenty of his time watching hoops clips: “Hindi siya natutumba. Ang lakas ng core niya and defined yung muscles niya! (He doesn’t fall. He has a strong core and defined muscles!)”

Wenceslao’s favorite players are Calvin Abueva and Marc Pingris, who surprised Kuya Teng with a phone call and a promise to visit him in Las Piñas after watching the posted videos.

Clearly touched by the gesture, Wenceslao began to tear up over the phone while talking to HoopJunkie when told of Pingris’ plan to visit.

It was at that same moment when, coincidentally, Pingris was ringing on the other line. 

Sabi niya, ‘Boss, mamaya na, si Marc Pingris, gusto akong kausapin, tawag ka na lang mamaya,’” recalled HoopJunkie, who responded: “Go, kausapin mo ‘yan!”

(He said, ‘Boss, I’ll talk to you later, Marc Pingris wants to talk to me, please call again later. So I said: ‘Go ahead, talk to him!’)

Talagang na-touch siya na gusto siyang kausapin ni Pingris (He was really touched that Pingris wanted to talk to him).”

Other basketball players, like PBA big man Poy Erram and FEU student-athlete RJ Abarrientos, also reached out and wanted to help however they could. 

UP Maroons standout Juan Gomez de Liaño sent Nike sports gear for Kuya Teng. A few others donated second-hand apparel.

Eventually, HoopJunkie began collecting cash donations to purchase a prosthetic leg for Wenceslao, which would amount to P35,000. 

Donations came in from all kinds of people, including someone who sold some of his NBA cards collection to raise money. 

CJ Hirro, a courtside reporter for the MPBL, also pitched in. Ditto for anonymous Filipino-American basketball organizations.

Eventually, Pingris offered to donate the prosthetic leg himself, with help from a doctor who will soon get Wenceslao’s measurements. The raised money, which was already very close to the original price tag of the prosthetic, will be split into two – groceries for Wenceslao and cash for him to keep – with HoopJunkie taking the lead. 

For HoopJunkie, who now has more than 70,000 followers, such actions are among the reasons he pours his time and passion into the social media platform. 

And for Wenceslao, a little help has gone a long way. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.