MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is set to play Korean team Changwon LG Sakers in a tune-up game that will help both squads prepare for their upcoming campaigns in their respective basketball leagues.
Ginebra will play the Sakers in a friendly game at the Araneta Coliseum on September 9, in an event dubbed the "Asian Basketball Showdown."
"The Asian Basketball Showdown serves as a historic milestone, as this is our first time to embark in a major sporting event," LG Electronics Philippines managing director Sung Woo Nam said in a statement.
Ginebra head coach Jeffrey Cariaso said he welcomed the opportunity to play the Sakers, calling it a "privilege."
"We should feel happy that they are choosing to come here to Manila to prepare themselves for their league," Cariaso said. "That says a lot about the talent that we have here."
Sakers coach Kim Jin echoed Cariaso's statement as he expressed his happiness to be playing against the Gin Kings.
"It's going to be as exciting and as worthwhile as it was years ago, when Korea and the Philippines went head to head many times," said Kim through a translator.
Kim also revealed that Tuesday's game will be more than an exhibition for them as they will use it to prepare for the upcoming season of the Korean Basketball League.
Like the Sakers, the Gin Kings will also use the game to gauge their readiness for the next season of the PBA which tips off in October.
"We're just like the Sakers. We're also preparing for our own conference, which is the All Filipino (Cup)," said Ginebra assistant coach Olsen Racela. "We started practicing two or three weeks ago, so this will be our first tune-up game, our first pre-season tune-up game."
"We're excited just like all Filipinos," added Racela. "Every time you play Korea, it's always an exciting game. The players are excited, and the coaches are excited also."
The LG Sakers arrived in Manila on Wednesday and participated in a basketball clinic for the children from the Manila Boys' Town Thursday at the Treston Gym in the Bonifacio Global City. Also present at the basketball clinic were PBA veteran Nic Belasco and former San Beda Red Lion Sudan Daniel.
Kim Seungho, one of the players who participated in the basketball clinic, said it was a "meaningful experience."
"The system in place here for basketball is an excellent one, and when they are that young, the most important thing is to find happiness and joy in the game," he added through a translator. "As they enjoy and they keep playing, eventually they will become good basketball players."
Aside from the basketball clinic, LG Electronics also refurbished the basketball court at the Manila Boys' Town and donated entertainment products and kitchen appliances.
The Asian Basketball Showdown is open to all Filipinos for free. Fans who want to watch can register via LG Electronics' Facebook page.
Those who have already registered can start claiming their tickets on September 5-7 in LG Mobile concept stores in SM Megamall, SM North Edsa and Greenhills Shopping Center, as well as in Titan Stores within Metro Manila.
When claiming, registrants will have to present their e-ticket and one valid ID, and a sales invoice or official receipt if registered as an LG customer for patron tickets.
The event starts at 6 p.m.