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NU's Salem repays Bulldogs' trust with much-awaited breakout game

MANILA, Philippines – National University (NU) head coach Jamike Jarin was honest when asked for the reason for the Bulldogs' struggles in the first round of UAAP Season 80.

"It's no secret," Jarin said. "Matt Salem has been struggling all throughout, scoring-wise. Defensively, he's average."

J-Jay Alejandro celebrates with Matt Salem after their win over UP. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports
During the Bulldogs' three-game losing streak, Salem scored a combined 12 points. He had averaged just six points on 27.9% shooting per game, including only 24.1% from beyond the arc. With Salem struggling to find his mark, J-Jay Alejandro had to carry most of the scoring load – a recipe that has not led to success for NU.

Salem was well aware that his team needed him to start producing, but it was not until their last game of the first round that he finally broke out of his shell and fulfilled the role that he was supposed to do for his team.

Against a University of the Philippines (UP) team that was as desperate for a victory as they were, Salem scored 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, and also grabbed 10 rebounds. Most importantly, he knocked down the dagger three-pointer with 45 seconds left that sealed the deal in NU's 77-70 win.

Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
Full Article: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/10/08/17/nus-salem-repays-bulldogs-trust-with-much-awaited-breakout-game

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