Korean import Jiwan Kim impresses Ginebra coach
Korean import Jiwan Kim drew good first impressions from his Ginebra head coach Frankie Lim and teammates after his PBA debut Wednesday night.
While he did not shoot well, Kim still managed to contribute 11 points, five rebounds and three assists to help the Kings pass a tough test in the Globalport Batang Pier in overtime.
“Malaking bagay din sa amin yung pagdating ni Jiwan. Nagkaroon kami ng additional weapon (The arrival of Jiwan was of big help to us. We got additional weapon),” said Lim, who engaged Kim for almost 35 minutes.
“He (Kim) is a good shooter and a good passer. What more can you ask for,” praised veteran guard Mark Caguioa, who, along with athletic forward Japeth Aguilar, played the hero’s role in the waning moments of the Kings’ 111-108 triumph.
The 25-year-old Kim just arrived on Monday to replace Ginebra’s former Asian reinforcement Sanchir Tungalag but showed he was ready to suit up and make his presence felt right away for Ginebra, which came into the game badly needing a victory.
“I don’t want to give a lot of excuses,” Kim said through his interpreter, Young Bae Byun. “I just arrived two days ago from Seattle, it was a long flight and I just had one day of practice with the team.”
Kim hit his first shot–a contested jumper–but went on to finish the game shooting just 4-of-13 from the field including 1-of-7 from behind the arc. He quickly took notice of his poor shooting and talked about the need to be better next game.
“I was able to take a lot of the shots. But the problem was the percentage. I wasn’t able to hit a lot of those shots.”
“My focus right now is to keep working on the tough and then the next game I’ll probably play a lot better,” he added.
Like most Korean players, Kim is known for his outside shooting. Aguilar, though, thinks it’s not just the only aspect of Kim’s game that makes him a good player.
“He has a great basketball IQ. You can really see him reading the game when he’s on the floor and he’s very disciplined which is what Koreans are known for and that’s why he’s effective.
Kim also showed much appreciation for the Ginebra fans, whom he said played a big role for him to be able to play the way he played in his first game in the Philippines.
“I’ve heard a lot about the PBA, about how the Filipino people love basketball and also how great this team Ginebra is. I was really able to go through and finish the game because of the fans, so I really appreciate them.”
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