MATT Salem will remember his collegiate career with two schools with fondness after playing for La Salle and National University.
The 24-year-old Salem played his final game as a college player on Saturday but it ended with NU losing to University of the Philippines, 106-81. He finished with seven points and seven rebounds after returning from a bout with dengue fever.
At the end of his college career, Salem wound up with one UAAP crown after being part of the La Salle team that won it all in 2013.
“Two years in La Salle was great. Two years in NU was amazing,” said Salem. “My four years in the UAAP, I’m very happy with it. I’m going to miss it and a great four years to experience."
“(There is a) new chapter in my life that I have to prepare for,” he added.
Salem tried to hide his disappointment when a few reporters asked what happened in the dugout after finishing his final year with a loss along with fellow graduating player Jjay Alejandro.
“We were down but captain Jay and I, we held our heads up. It sucks. It really hurts. But in our heart, there is more happiness than pain. It’s very emotional,” Salem said.
Still, Salem felt blessed about his final season with the Bulldogs.
“I thank God for the season. He has blessed me. We ended up like last season but it was fun this year. Lots of thoughts going through my head. One of them, the most important thing was thanking God honestly for the whole season for keeping me healthy. Even though at the end of the season, there’s a little bit of sickness but I was free from injury. I gave it all,” Salem said.
Salem is also optimistic about the future of the Bulldogs, as he also looks forward to his future.
“Coach Jamike has done a lot for the team. He has done a lot for captain Jay and I. For Jay and I, we just asked for them to get better for next year. For them to keep on improving, for them to be in the Final Four for Jay and I to watch next season,” said Salem.
“God has a plan for me. For me to keep my eyes on my goals are, continue to get better for that. Next chapter could be anything. It could be outside the basketball [court]. It could be in basketball. You’ll never know what God’s plan is,” he added.