Cone "shocked" to still find Salem available for Ginebra in surprise-laden PBA Draft

Coach Tim Cone grasped the chance to take the surprisingly still available Matt Salem in the third round. Dennis Acosta

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--All the mock PBA Drafts were already busted as early as the fourth pick when NLEX stole the show in the real draft by picking Paul Desiderio.

[Related Story: Desiderio jumps to 4th pick as surprises cap Round 1 of PBA Draft]

But aside from that, the PBA Draft also saw projected first rounder Matt Salem falling all the way to the third round.

[Related Story: Projected 1st rounders Quinto, Salem slip to next two rounds of PBA Draft]

"We were shocked that Matt dropped all the way down to the third round. We thought he will go late in the first round or early in the second," Ginebra coach Tim Cone said after the draft proceedings at the Robinson's Place Manila atrium on Sunday night.

And when the other teams passed on Salem, the Barangay, who had the last pick of Round 3, did not waste time.

"It was a no-brainer for us. I think everybody knows we have big men so we’re looking for shooters and Matt’s one of the best shooters in the draft," Cone continued.

Indeed, Cone lived up to his word during the combine when he said that he will eye a sleeper pick in the draft.

"We felt really fortunate to be able to get him," he further said.

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