Salem says career-high 26 points all because of NU guards

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 01, 2016 05:39 PM
Salem says career-high 26 points all because of NU guards
PLEASANT SURPRISE. No one expected Matt Salem to be NU's leading scorer.

While many expected Matt Salem to bring the size and shooting National University has been missing since Troy Rosario graduated, no one had expectations of him becoming their leading scorer.

But the 23-year-old is just that in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Averaging close to 14 points, it’s him who paces the Bulldogs in scoring – not Alfred Aroga, not J-Jay Alejandro.

Salem entrenched himself even further in that position after delivering a career-high 26 points to show NU the way right through University of the Philippines on Saturday.

Talking about his career game, the transferee who spent his first two years over at De La Salle University said, “The team has been working hard. My performance is good, but I won’t perform like that if my teammates are setting me up.”

He then continued, “The points didn’t come from me, it came from our guards. They were setting me up.”

The Bulldogs’ backcourt of Rev Diputado, JV Gallego, and J-Jay Alejandro counted a total of nine dishes, most of which went right at Salem who was nothing but willing to take advantage. “We don’t care who scores for as long as we stay together,” he expressed.

Along with the good looks courtesy of the work of their guards, the sweet-shooting big man is also crediting the leadership of team captain Alfred Aroga for building up his confidence. “Alfred’s a great leader,” he said, right into the point.

For his part, the Cameroonian said that NU as a team and he as a player need Salem to be on-point. “In my mindset, he can also help me out in my game. I ask him to make shots and me, I’m gonna go for the rebounds,” he said.

He then continued, “We can only win games by having the help of each other.”


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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