GenSan's Rich Alvarez glad SMB let Kyt Jimenez play in decider vs. Muntinlupa

Kyt Jimenez played in GenSan's knockout game against Muntinlupa. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The contract dispute between San Miguel and GenSan for combo guard Kyt Jimenez took one step toward a complete resolution as the PBA squad let Jimenez finish his stint first with the MPBL club in the ongoing league playoffs.

With that said, Jimenez finally became available to play for the Warriors in the all-important Game 3 of their first-round tie against the Muntinlupa Cagers, and coach Rich Alvarez said that his availability was so sudden.

"It was a surprise. He called me up, and he told me his situation. With the permission of his team in the PBA, they gave him the blessing to come back, and he said he was 100 percent committed to finishing his contract here. We were excited about it," Alvarez said on Tuesday night after the knockout game at the Paco Arena.

The round-of-16 showdown was the first time Jimenez played for GenSan since August, a month before SMB drafted him to the PBA.

The 5-foot-11 combo guard was caught in the crossfire when the Warriors insisted that his contract with them runs until the end of the year right after he signed a two-year deal with the Beermen.

Jimenez eventually said on Friday night that he would honor what was left of his deal with GenSan.

SMB coach Jorge Gallent then said earlier Tuesday that Jimenez is "welcome" to formally join them once he completes his current obligations.

While a few steps might be left before a full closure could be made about the contract issue, Alvarez is happy that Jimenez's situation is now heading in the right direction.

"I love that they are able to be lenient regarding what happened. I'm grateful to San Miguel for letting him play," the 2005 PBA Rookie of the Year further said.

With the Warriors edging the Cagers--and Jimenez having solid numbers in just 10 minutes of play--the former moved on to the MPBL South Division semifinals.

Alvarez hinted that Jimenez could be in action again for GenSan.

"He told me he's gonna finish the season for us, so I'm assuming he will be playing," Alvarez further said.

GenSan takes on Batangas City in another best-of-three series beginning Saturday night at the Bacoor City STRIKE Gymnasium.

The Embassy Chill host Game 2 the following Saturday at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum.

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