KIA Motors is tapping Senegalese giant Hamady Barro N'Diaye to fill in the spot vacated by hulking Puerto Rican slotman Peter John Ramos for the upcoming PBA Governors Cup.
N’Diaye is a familiar figure for Filipino basketball fans, having played for the Senegal national side that dropped an 81-79 overtime loss to Gilas Pilipinas in last year’s Fiba World Cup in Spain.
Listed at seven feet, the 28-year-old N’Diaye was the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 56th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
A noted shotblocker, N’Diaye brings to the Carnival a style much different from Ramos, according to KIA lead assistant coach Chito Victolero.
“More on defense yung mapo-provide niya (N’Diaye), saka medyo yung kanyang laro, pang-up and down tempo, kasi si PJ naman, more on low-post,” Victolero told Spin.ph on Friday.
N’Diaye averaged 4.5 blocks during his senior year at Rutgers University and ended his collegiate career with 358 blocked shots. He also broke the school record held by former NBA player Roy Hinson and was eventually awarded the Big East Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Victolero added N’Diaye’s agility also boosts KIA, which intends to use an up-tempo game while relying on outside shooting following the acquisition of Taiwanese gunner Jet Chang as the team’s Asian import, along with Jason Deutchman, from the free agent market.
N’Diaye played 33 games in the NBA, where he had stops with the Washington Wizards in 2011 and 2012, followed by a stint with the Sacramento Kings in the 2014 season, logging career averages of 0.61 point, 0.7 rebound, 0.2 block.
The Senegalese big man is expected to arrive this weekend to formally take over the spot of the 7-foot-2 Ramos, who was no longer allowed to play in the PBA by his pro team Guayamas in the Puerto Rican league.
Ramos averaged 35.9 points and 21 rebounds for the Carnival in the Commissioner’s Cup.