Improved and more confident, "The Conductor" is ready to help steer Arellano to glory

Santino Honasan on Jun 21, 2016 11:19 AM
More confident Kent Salado ready to help steer AU to glory
“Ang masasabi ko lang, tignan na lang nila, kasi magta-trabaho din kami para manalo at mag-enjoy yung mga manonood.” - Kent Salado

As NCAA Season 92 draws closer, one of the most visible narratives is the presumed dominance of Arellano University star guard Jiovani Jalalon. 

And while all eyes are on “The Bus Driver” ahead of the upcoming NCAA season, his running mate ain’t doing too bad for himself either. 

During the off season, a more confident Kent Salado found himself making waves in commercial tournaments as well as during the FilOil pre-season tournament, that saw him join Chiefs teammate Jalalon in the Mythical Five. Salado and Jalalon were the only two members of the Mythical Five who weren’t from the eventual champs De La Salle. 

And according to “The Conductor”, his training played a big part in his recent success on the floor. 

“Kinuha ko talaga yung kumpiyansa ko sa training namin, kasi ‘yan naman yun eh, dun mo sa training makukuha ‘yun.”

Confidence is going to be key for Salado and the Chiefs, who are being touted as possible favorites for Season 92, which could also become a year of redemption after falling just short of a Final Four berth last season. 

“Yun naman talaga yung target ngayon, bago siyempre pumasok sa Finals, gusto namin makuha yung semis, kasi last year akala namin papasok na kami sa Final Four, ayun wala.” Salado said, who admitted that they may have overlooked a Mapua squad that they had beaten earlier on in the season. “Nagulat kami, tinambakan pa kami ng Mapua. Na-underestimate namin sila kasi nung sa first game namin, sila kalaban namin, talo namin sila, pero nung laglagan na, tinambakan kami ng bente.”

Aside from underestimating the reigning MVP and the Cardinals, Salado also believes that lack of communication was a big part of the problem for the Chiefs last season, among other things. “Yung sa akin lang, last year, kulang na kulang kami last year sa communication, sa mga huddle, sa loob ng court, hindi kami nag-uusap. Pag na-tatambakan kami, pag na-hahabol kami, na-lalamangan kami, gigil na gigil kami, gusto na namin humabol agad,”

Of course, that was last year. In less than a week, we’ll be starting with a new season, a new slate, and a new Arellano Chiefs team, one that Salado believes is more bonded and more stacked, especially with a new crop of big men and rookies that are hungry. 

“Yung mga big man namin ngayon, tumatakbo, yung mga rookie, gigil ngayon eh. Gustong magpakita.”

Last season, we saw a glimpse of how lethal the backcourt of Jalalon and Salado could be for Arellano, even moreso during the FilOil Preseason Tournament, where they had a monstrous DLSU team on the ropes, but ultimately finished as runners-up during the Finals. 

Can the tandem of “The Bus Driver” and “The Conductor” finally steer Arellano to an NCAA title? 

“Ang masasabi ko lang, tignan na lang nila, kasi magta-trabaho din kami para manalo at mag-enjoy yung mga manonood.”

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