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Salem on slipping to 3rd round of draft: "It is what it is"

Matt Salem found himself with the PBA's crowd darlings after missing out in the first two rounds of the draft. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Most, if not all, of the mock drafts online during the eve of the Philippine Basketball Association Draft had Matt Salem as a first round pick.

But come Sunday night, he was snubbed in the first and the second rounds and was even close to be even snubbed in the third round.

"It is what it is. We had no control of this," Salem said.

Ginebra, which owns the last pick of the third round that became the 32nd overall pick after Alaska and Magnolia decided to pass come the second round, took the opportunity of Salem's availability and took him in.

"I'm thankful for where I landed. This is God's plan for me to go here," he continued.

After a colorful collegiate career with La Salle and National University and a relatively good start to his pro stint with MPBL's Navotas Clutch, Salem is set to be under the tutelage of legendary coach Tim Cone.

"He just said he's happy to have me there," Salem relayed what Cone told him when he was selected.

Up next for Salem is a learning process that can drastically improve his game.

"They have the biggest fanbase, the best talent basketball IQ-wise, and the best coaching staff. This is a good opportunity for me to learn a lot more than what I learned now," he further said. "All my strengths and weaknesses that I have, I'm gonna improve on those. How much my basketball IQ can go up from here is gonna be crazy. I'm so excited for it."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno