TIM Cone was pleasantly surprised to see Matt Salem still available when it was Ginebra's turn to choose late in the third round of the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft on Sunday.
Salem was the 12th and last player selected in the third round by the Kings, who didn’t have picks in the first two rounds at Robinsons Place Manila.
“I thought he will go late first round, early second,” Cone said of the former National University standout. “When he was available for us in the third, it was a no-brainer.”
Cone said the 25-year-old Salem was exactly the guy Ginebra wants as the team wants to shore up its armada of shooters. Salem won the three-point shootout in this year’s PBA Draft Combine.
“Everybody knows that we have big men so we have to look for shooters. Matt is one of the best shooters in the draft,” Cone said.
Salem was the lone Ginebra draftee as the t eam passed the next round. Cone said the other players he targeted were taken by the other in the earlier rounds.
“We had some guys we were interested in but we didn’t get a shot at them. But as it turned out, we got a guy that we wanted because we are looking for shooters. Young guys who are shooters. He fits the bill,” Cone said.