MANILA, Philippines – KYT Jimenez’s dream of playing for the San Miguel Beermen came true on Sunday, September 17, when he was drafted in the ninth round, 79th overall, of the PBA Season 48 Rookie Draft.
The 26-year-old basketball talent found himself as the fourth-to-the-last player selected in the draft. However, he couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity that came his way. Being chosen by San Miguel, one of the most successful teams in the league, left him feeling like he was on cloud nine.
“Parang nasa langit na ako,” exclaimed Jimenez. “Pangarap ko ‘to bata pa lang ako” (It’s like I’m in heaven. This has been my dream since I was a child).
Jimenez’s journey to the PBA has been far from easy. He went undrafted in the 2022 PBA Rookie Draft, but he didn’t give up on his dream. He continued to work hard and improve his game, eventually earning a spot in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
In the MPBL, Jimenez made a name for himself as a versatile and explosive player. He averaged 18.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 3.2 steals per game for the Sarangani Marlins. He also became the first player in MPBL history to record a quadruple-double.
Jimenez’s performance in the MPBL caught the attention of PBA teams, and he was eventually invited to the 2023 PBA Rookie Draft. Despite being drafted late in the draft, Jimenez is grateful for the opportunity to play for San Miguel.
“Hindi ko expect na kukunin ako, mapi-pick ako ng San Miguel. Kanina, naiiyak na lang ako na natawag pa ‘yung pangalan ko kahit bandang huli na. Will ni Lord ‘yun kaya nagpapasalamat ako kay Lord,” he shared. (I didn’t expect to be chosen, to be picked by San Miguel. Earlier, I was just overwhelmed that my name was called even though it was towards the end. That was the will of the Lord, so I’m grateful to Him).
One of the things that Jimenez is most excited about is the opportunity to share the court with his idol, Terrence Romeo. The two have already spoken to each other before the draft, and Jimenez is eager to learn from Romeo.
Jimenez’s journey to the PBA is an inspiration to all Filipino athletes who never give up on their dreams. He is living proof that with hard work, perseverance, and faith, anything is possible.