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Basketball

Kent Salado finds redemption as Phoenix dominates NLEX


Kent Salado felt some satisfaction in beating his former team after Phoenix ripped NLEX apart in a lopsided PBA Philippine Cup encounter Saturday.

The seasoned guard admitted that he was looking forward to playing the Road Warriors after being cut last February, ending his stint short-lived with the MVP-owned franchise which lasted just one game in the Commissioner’s Cup.

“Ah siyempre, nandun na ‘yun,” he told Tiebreaker Times moments after their dominant 112-77 victory at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Last December, NorthPort traded Salado to NLEX as part of a multi-player deal centered around star guard Robert Bolick, which paved the way for the latter’s return to the PBA after a short stint in the B.League.

But NLEX turned the former Arellano star turned into an unrestricted free agent with rights to salary just before the all-Filipino tournament.

2024-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Phoenix-vs-NLEX-Robert-Bolick-x-Kent-Salado Kent Salado finds redemption as Phoenix dominates NLEX Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

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“Sabay kami ni Robert pumunta. December 10, mga ganun. Then na-cut ako February. Nag-training camp kami mga four days din. Pagbalik namin, first practice sa Manila, na-cut ako,” recalled Salado.

Still, he eventually found himself a new team when none other than Fuel Masters head coach Jamike Jarin called him for his services.

The team was looking to address the absence of main man Tyler Tio due to an ankle injury.

“Umuwi ako ng probinsiya. Mga three weeks ako roon. Tumawag si Coach Jamike na pwede ba raw ako maglaro kasi injured si Tyler,” he said.

“Siyempre ako, opportunity ‘yun e, kailangan natin i-grab ‘yung mga ganun.”

The Cagayan de Oro-native has since been delivering for Phoenix but he turned it up a notch against NLEX. He finished with a conference-high 11 points, alongside four rebounds, and eight assists in 27 minutes as a starter.

#ReadMore  Baser Amer, Allen Durham connive as Meralco ends six-game slide

Salado, though, made it clear that he harbors no ill feelings toward the Road Warriors on the way to Phoenix’s third win of the conference to keep their quarterfinal hopes up.

NLEX, on the other hand, fell to their second loss in a row.

“Hindi naman, kasi nasa professional na tayo e. Gano’n naman eh,” he said.

“Tumulong lang ako, ginawa namin ‘yung game plan namin.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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