ERIC Salamat is not only thrilled to play in the semifinals for Flying V but also happy that he can even improve his chances of making it back to the PBA by playing in the postseason of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
The Thunder clinched an automatic berth in the semifinals when they beat AMA, 114-91, last Monday. They also stayed unbeaten as Flying V improved to 8-0 in the team standings.
The former Ateneo guard is looking forward to the opportunity of playing in the playoffs, more so since it only enhances his chance to be noticed by PBA scouts.
"Sobrang importante. Personally, sa akin, alam mo naman na gusto ko pa bumalik sa PBA so para sa akin, semis, diyan tumitingin 'yung mga scouts," said Salamat, who last played in Asia's first play-for-pay league in 2014 with Talk 'N Text.
Salamat, drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft, may have improved his chance of returning to the PBA by virtue of his performance on Monday. He made his presence felt for Flying V against AMA when he scored 33 points on 7-of-11 shooting from three-point range on a night where Jeron Teng made a triple-double.
The performance showed anyone can explode at any given time and give Teng the support he needs in the team.
"'Yung team namin, hindi mo ma-predict. Ang isa mong babantayan si Jeron every game. Nakita niyo naman 'yung triple double. Okay din 'yung ginawa niyang adjustment kasi alam niya na tatauhin talaga siya," said Salamat.
Against AMA, Flying V started out flat as it fell behind, 18-2, before the Thunder's shots began to fall. The team shot 20 triples at the end of the game.
"Slow start kami tapos hindi kami makapag-adjust agad kasi nag-zone sila. Nung nakabutas na kami, dun kami nag-unti-unti. Once na may pumasok na three points diyan at magandang ball movement, mahahawa na talaga lahat," said Salamat.
The Thunder will have two remaining games on the schedule, results of which will not affect their placing heading into the playoffs. But Flying V will still play as if it has bearing to their standings.
"Wala kaming no-bearing game. 'Yung mentality ng team namin, pukpok pa in preparation na rin sa semis," said Salamat.