Kim Jiwan of South Korea celebrated his birthday in Manila, Philippines, two days before becoming the first South Korean player to play in the PBA. He was immediately put to work playing 34 minutes in Wednesday’s debut finishing with 11 point and five rebounds to help guide Ginebra to a crucial 111-108 overtime victory over Globalport Batang Pier.
The PBA allows each team to pick one foreign-Asian player as Kim Jiwan was acquired by Ginebra to replace Mongolia’s Sanchir Tungalag who was released due to poor performances. Kim Jiwan started the game off hitting his first shot, a contested jumper, but the signs of fatigue was starting to show as he would finish the game shooting just 4 for 13 (1 for 7 from the three-point-line).
“I don’t want to give a lot of excuses. But I just arrived two days ago from Seattle, it was a long flight and I just had one day of practice with the team. “My focus right now is to keep working on the tough and then the next game I’ll probably play a lot better.” – Kim Jiwan
Kim Jiwan is being loaned to Ginebra by the Incheon Et Land Elephants of the Korean Basketball League. His Korean coach, Yoo Do Hoon, says its a great way for Kim Jiwan to develop his game calling the Philippine guards some of the best in the world.
Ginebra’s next match is scheduled for June, 8th, giving Kim Jiwan a chance to get his legs back and participate in a few more practices with the team.
With notes from sports.inquirer.net (Philippines).