Salem’s career game sparks Bulldogs to share of second
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 01, 2016 04:35 PM
GETTING COMFORTABLE. Transferee Matt Salem has now showed NU the way to a win on two separate occasions.
Only six games into his first go-round with National University, Matt Salem is already making the most of his newfound role.
Now a key cog for the Bulldogs in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament, the sweet-shooting big man showed the Bulldogs the way to another win.
Salem’s career-high 26 points coupled with NU’s trademark discipline proved more than enough to put away University of the Philippines, 80-69, on Saturday at the MOA Arena.
While he was at the forefront of the Bulldogs’ suddenly prolific offense, the transferee who spent his first two years over at De La Salle University deflected all credit back to his teammates. “We don’t care who scores for as long as we stay together,” he expressed.
Indeed, Salem was not alone in carrying NU to a share of second now at 4-2 with Revrev Diputado and JV Gallego also contributing 12 points apiece.
It was also those three Bulldogs along with team captain Alfred Aroga who connived for the 11-2 burst that ballooned their two-point lead to 70-59 inside the last three minutes.
Causing what turned out to be the pivotal push was Maroon Andrew Harris who incurred a technical foul as well as a personal foul that granted tree free throws to Salem and a basket and a bonus to Gallego. NU was nothing but willing to take advantage and their 6-0 mini-run turned the tides for good.
“I think very crucial yung technical foul. From that technical foul, we were able to score six points,” coach Eric Altamirano said.
Salem’s career-high and their young backcourt’s rise to the occasion helped the Bulldogs overcome off games from Aroga and J-Jay Alejandro who only had seven points each.
Jett Manuel paced UP with 21 points, but was the lone effective player as they dropped to 1-5.
NU 80 – Salem 26, Diputado R 12, Gallego 12, Alejandro 7, Aroga 7, Mosqueda 5, Pate 5, Salim 4, Morido 2, Aquino 0, Diputado C 0, Abatayo 0, Rangel 0, Sinclair 0
UP 69 – Manuel 21, Desiderio 11, Moralde 8, Espanola 5, Prado 4, Webb 4, Lao 4, Vito 3, Longa 3, Harris 2, Asilum 2, Jaboneta 2, Lim 0, Dario 0, Romero 0, Gomez de Liano 0
QUARTER SCORES: 12-15, 35-24, 52-46, 80-69
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