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    Late call-up a blessing in disguise as Matt Salem ends up with Ginebra

    Dec 18, 2018
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    MATT Salem doesn’t mind being picked late in the draft, particularly in the third round where he ended up as the lone draft choice of Barangay Ginebra.

    Projected as a second rounder, Salem was chosen 12th in the third round by the Gin Kings to the surprise of most observers, but the former National University cager said he doesn’t have a problem being selected late in the draft.

    “It is what it is,” said Salem. “We have no control over this. The coaches, they went through the draft picks and they chose who they want to choose. We ended up where we ended up.”

    “There is a reason each one of us got picked to a certain team. I got picked by Ginebra. It’s amazing. It’s great,” he said.

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      Even though several observers say the draft was lean, Salem said otherwise as the 6-foot-3 forward which could be perhaps the reason why he was selected in the third round.

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      “There’s a lot of competition. The whole draft is deep, I think. A lot of players can be combo guards, bigs that can play 4 or 3, big guards that can play 2 or 3. I think the Combine was really deep. We all went where we went,” said Salem.

      Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone already has high hopes for Salem as he could be a contributor on the offensive end particularly in the three-point shooting department.

      Salem said he feels very fortunate that the team that drafted him is the Gin Kings and he is more motivated to improve on his game.

      “I’m happy to be part of this team. I’m happy to be part of this organization. I’m just going to go to work for them, give them my all, and learn from there. They have one of the best systems and the best vets that have the best IQ, basketball-wise,” said Salem.

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      “It’s time to learn, it’s time to get better, and improve on my strengths, and all my weaknesses that I have, I’ll try to improve. There’s more to go from here. It’s like going up. I’m thankful and grateful,” said Salem.

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      PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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