It wasn’t like just any exhibition game.
Hoop fans got a treat as the battle between PBA crowd favorites Barangay Ginebra and Korean ball club LG Sakers turned out to be a classic.
The Gin Kings survived a late scare from the visiting Sakers to avenge their loss in their previous encounter and take a close 95-91 win on Tuesday evening at the Araneta Coliseum.
The tuneup match was held in celebration of the 70 years of friendship between the Philippines and South Korea. The Sakers beat Ginebra last week in another tuneup.
Stanley Pringle hit a clutch three-pointer with only 9.3 seconds remaining to give the Gin Kings a five-point cushion.
Kim Sirae made an and-1 conversion in the ensuing play. But LA Tenorio put away the game for good by hitting two clutch free throws to settle the final score.
Justin Brownlee had a game-high 27 points, while Tenorio and Pringle each had 17 markers apiece.
The Gin Kings led for the majority of the contest but the visitors gave a spirited comeback late in the game.
Trailing by 14 entering the fourth quarter, the Sakers displayed their true form in the payoff period to cut the deficit to as little as two points.
Cady Lalanne capitalized on the early exit of Greg Slaughter, who fouled out halfway through the last quarter.
Lalanne had a team-high 23 points for the LG Sakers. While Sirae contributed 20 for the visitors.
LG Electronics Philippines made the exhibition game possible in partnership with the Philippine Basketball Association and the Korean Basketball League. LG gave out several home theater systems and other products to fans.
“Basketball truly binds our cultures. Korea and the Philippines, we both love the sport. LG is very delighted to strengthen the bond between our countries,” said LG Electronics Managing Director Inkwun Heo.
Before tipoff, LG also donated several appliances to the Philippine Children’s Medical
Center’s (PCMC) Cancer and Hematology Department, the adopted community of the ‘Alagang PBA’, Philippine Basketball Association’s corporate social responsibility program. Several kid patients from the PCMC were able to watch the game live and had the opportunity to meet their idols.
The two teams first faced off in 2014, with the Koreans coming up with a five-point victory.