With more than a month to go before the PBA’s 40th Season, crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra San Miguel takes an early test on its preparation when it tackles the Changwon LG Sakers in an exhibition game dubbed the Asian Basketball Showdown today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The friendly match at 6 p.m. features the PBA’s crowd favorite Ginebra and its equally popular basketball team in the Korean Basketball League (KBL) Changwon LG Sakers.
The game, presented by LG Electronics, will be the Kings’ first since the team’s practice session resumed about three weeks ago at the team gears up for the coming season of Asia’s first professional league.
Ginebra mentor Jeff Cariaso, however, will miss the services of two mainstays, playmaker LA Tenorio and forward Japeth Aguilar, who are both scheduled to fly back tomorrow from Spain.
“This game is not going to be easy but I think we’ll be able to learn from them… that’s our purpose,” said Cariaso, who will rely on 7-foot center Greg Slaughter and mainstays Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand, Chris Ellis, Mac Baracael and new recruits Joseph Yeo and rookie Rodney Brondial.
“Obviously, what’s nice about them is they pass the ball real well, they shoot well. It’s going to be a challenge every shot. I think they will use an import so it’s going to be a handful there,” he added.
The LG Sakers is handled by coach Kim Jin, while expected to watch the game is Korea’s basketball legend Shin Dong Pa.