HERO OR ZERO? Kent Salado saved the day for Arellano in overtime against JRU.
With the game on the line, there wasn’t even any doubt that Arellano University was putting the ball in the hands of Kent Salado.
He did nothing but deliver.
Willing what proved to be the game-winner over the outstretched arms of six-foot-eight Abdel Poutouochi, the five-foot-nine High Chief saved the day for his side.
And Salado wouldn’t have wanted it to go another way. “Kinuha ko na talaga yun. Sabi ko mula inbound pa lang, sa akin na ibigay,” he shared afterward.
Indeed, right after Jed Mendoza’s split from the stripe created a one-point separation in favor of Jose Rizal University, no one else’s hands touched the ball for Arellano aside from its floor leader in the game’s pivotal possession.
Even the call from the sidelines said so. “We had to go to Salado. We trust him and he made that crucial basket,” head coach Jerry Codinera said.
Salado was quick to point out, though, that luck had much to do with his game-winner. “Naswertehan lang ako kasi wala nang oras tapos dapat ko nang itira. Naka-challenge pa yung (foreign student-athlete) so naswertehan lang talaga ako,” he shared.
However, there had to be more luck involved especially after the fourth-year guard missed out on a chance to win the game in regulation.
The Chiefs led, 62-59, with 9.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and Salado had a couple of charities that would have put them up by five.
The main man missed both freebies, however, and Mendoza’s heave for the Heavy Bombers touched nothing but net to force overtime. “Nagsisi ako kasi hindi na-shoot. Panalo na dapat yun e,” the former expressed afterward.
Fortunately for Salado, another chance to win the game presented itself, and this time, he was doing nothing but making the most out of it. “Buti na lang nakabawi pa kasi panalo na, matatalo pa,” he expressed.
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