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Sep 11, 2019

Brownlee, Ginebra take on the Korean challenge

BARANGAY Ginebra is having a taste of Korean basketball in the pre-PBA Governors Cup.

After taking on the visiting Jeonju KCC Egis, the Kings are slated to face the Changwon LG Sakers next as they continue their build up for the season-ending conference.

Import Justine Brownlee and the rest of the Kings test the Sakers' mettle on Friday in the first of a scheduled two tune-up matches between the two ballclubs. Both teams then face-off once again on Sept. 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in a game dubbed 'Asian Showdown 2' and which will be free to the public courtesy of LG Philippines.

Both Jeonju and LG Sakers are among the powerhouse ballclubs in the Korean Basketball League (KBL). Jeonju is a five-time KBL champion, while the Sakers are among the elite teams in the league which included a runner-up finish in the past.

But the Kings already gave Jeonju a rude welcome via a 98-78 beating on Tuesday at the Upper Deck gym in Ortigas.

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Brownlee erupted for 36 big points including 22 in the first quarter to lead Ginebra to the runaway win.

Now the Kings focus on the Sakers, who initially beat them in 2014 during the initial 'Asian Basketball Showdown' also at the Big Dome.

The Kings lost that game five years ago, 81-76, with Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio sitting out the game after coming fresh from their stint with the Gilas Pilipinas team in the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

An interesting sidelight of the match is the presence of Vernon Macklin as import in the Sakers' roster.

Macklin once served as Ginebra import during the 2013 Commissioner's Cup when he steered the team all the way to the finals, only to be swept by Rob Dozier and the Alaska Aces in the best-of-five title series.

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The tune-up matches incidentally, is in celebration of the 70 years of friendship between the Philippines and South Korea.

"In the spirit of celebrating the 70th anniversary of South Korean and Philippine diplomatic relations, we want to treat Filipinos to an experience they'll never forget," said LG Electronics Philippines Managing Director Inkwun Heo.(RG)