Blessing in disguise for Matt Salem as he lands in Ginebra
MANILA, Philippines – Matt Salem couldn't care less about getting picked in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft lower than expected, especially when he is headed to the league's crowd darlings.
Touted to get selected in the first two rounds, the former La Salle and National University marksman slipped to the end of the third round before Barangay Ginebra nabbed him as the No. 32 overall pick.
"Blessing in disguise. Everyone expected everyone to go at a certain pick. I don't believe them. It's up to God. God has everything in control and I just thank him," Salem said on draft night on Sunday, December 16.
A myriad of teams showed interest in Salem after the Draft Combine, where he flaunted his deadly outside sniping by winning the tournament's Three-Point Shootout.
But surprisingly, Salem got passed on by 11 other PBA teams until the Gin Kings landed him for the 12th and last pick in the third round.
And as it turned out, he was Ginebra's lone draft pick this year after the team opted to pass in the fourth round.
"With me playing with Ginebra, I'm going to start from the rock bottom. I'm going to learn their system, I'm going to do what I can, I'm going to get better and I'm going to work my way up like always," he said.
"I'm a hard worker. I never quit. I'm going to bring to the table what they want me to bring and get better from there."
Aside from suiting up for the most popular team in the league, Salem looks forward to absorbing knowledge from Ginebra's pool of veterans and coach Tim Cone.
"I'm just going to learn from all the vets, honestly. I feel like my basketball IQ's just going to boom now because it's just amazing how many vets they have," he added.
"Talking to those vets, studying what they do, this is a great opportunity for me to improve on my overall game." – Rappler.com