Kent Salado says confidence boost from coach Codinera behind late-game heroics for Racal
Kent Salado made up for a flat start with eight straight points in the clutch to keep Racal unbeaten in the Aspirants Cup. Jaime Campos

KENT Salado gave credit to the confidence his Racal and Arellano University coach Jerry Codinera has in him after making up for a flat start with late-game heroics to help the Tile Masters turn back Wangs and stay unbeaten in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

Salado admitted that he’s still adjusting to playing against amateur standouts and ex-pros in the D-League, which was why his rhythm was a little off to start the game against Wangs. But he came alive down the stretch, scoring eight of Racal’s 14 points in the final three minutes to pull away with the win after a tightly contested match.

The Arellano standout said having his college coach Codinera guide him through the transition to the D-League helped a lot in his confidence to take over when it mattered most for Racal.

"Ginagawa ko lang trabaho ko, at binibigyan ko kumpyansa sarili ko," said Salado after Racal's 89-84 win over Wangs on Thursday.

[See Racal pulls away over Wangs late to stay unbeaten in D-League

 "Coach ko rin siya sa college. Kaya kung ano kaya kong gawin, ginagawa ko. Tulong din ito pagdating sa NCAA," he added.

Though he showed flashes of brilliance on Thursday, Salado insisted there's a lot of room for improvement in his game, particularly his shooting and consistency.

 "Kanina di ko kasi alam ano dapat gawin eh kasi pag nakaka-shoot ako nilalabas ako. Sa fourth quarter lang ako nag-10 points kasi dun lang ako binabad. Pero okay lang naman," said Salado, who finished with 14 points.

 "Kailangan ko i-improve yung shooting. Yun din sinasabi nila," he added. 

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