JAPETH Aguilar was not the only Barangay Ginebra player who came through in the clutch for the Kings in their 110-107 win over NLEX in the final day of the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations on Wednesday night.
Jiwan Kim likewise delivered in the endgame with his timely long-range bombs and playmaking.
The team’s Asian import hit a long jumper that knotted the count at 96 with less than five minutes to go, then knocked down a right-corner triple that made it 101-100 for Ginebra with a little over two minutes remaining.
And the Korean gunner did all that despite nursing colds and flu he sustained the last couple of days.
“I was struggling in the beginning, but I tried to fight through it and fortunately I was starting to make my shots,” Kim said through an interpreter.
“And I was able to get open like that because our big men Japeth and Greg (Slaughter) set a good screen for me,” added the Korean, who finished with 16 points built around four triples, six assists, two rebounds, and one steal in 32 minutes.
Kim also credit Gin Kings coach Frankie Lim for setting up plays for him and doing it in a way that’s easily understandable.
“I don’t have a hard time understanding the plays,” the Korean said. “I want to thank him because he draws a lot of plays for me so I can get wide open.”
Lim attested to how Kim has been a difference to his team.
“Malaki (ang impact niya),” the seemingly hard-to-satisfy tactician said. “At least nadadagdagan yung firepower namin. We needed a scorer badly and kung mapapansin mo si Jiwan, he makes good decisions. Hindi siya namumuwersa ng tira.”
Proof of it, Kim, after a defender closed out on him, decided to make a crosscourt pass that found LA Tenorio, who repaid him by hitting a three-pointer that put Ginebra on top, 104-103.
Aguilar later hit a clutch trey in the final 1.7 seconds that proved to be the game-winner.