GREG Slaughter admits Barangay Ginebra’s offense left a lot to be desired in the preseason loss to expansion team Kia Motors last week but vowed their defense would be solid when the Kings collide with the Changwon LG Sakers in an exhibition match dubbed the “Asian Basketball Showdown” on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Gametime is 6 p.m., with both squads using the match to prepare their players for their upcoming campaigns in their respective leagues.
“The style of the Koreans is quick movement and they are all deadly shooters, so it’s gonna be a test for us as far as defense is concerned,” the 25-year-old big man told Spin.ph.
“I’m really expecting us to pick up the pieces, but one thing we expect is for our defense to pick up.”
Slaughter is no stranger to the Korean basketball style of play, having been a member of the Smart Gilas team that placed sixth in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
The 6-foot-11 Slaughter played back-up to Asi Taulava that year, where the Smart Gilas squad mentored by Serbian coach Rajko Toroman bowed to South Korea, 74-66, in the quarterfinals, knocking the Philippines out of the medal round.
“I know it’s (Changwon) a very tough team. (Ginebra’s conditioning) coach Kirk (Colier) said he knows all about that team (Sakers). He said they’ve been practicing since April so I expect that team to come out really sharp, really move that ball,” he added.
The visiting Sakers, who placed second in the Korean Basketball League this past season, won’t have Moon Taejung and center Kim Jong-Kyu, who are both part of the South Korea national squad that played in the Fiba world Cup in Spain.
Meantime, the Sakers will be reinforced by import Christopher Massie, a 38-year-old big man who averaged 10.8 points and 7.7 rebounds last season.
Ginebra coach Jeff Cariaso expects their hands full defending the Koreans.
“Obviously, what’s nice about them (Sakers) is they pass the ball real well, they shoot well, so we have to challenge every shot,” said Cariaso, whose team won’t have LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, who are coming off a stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the world championships.
“This game is not gonna be easy but I think we’ll be able to learn from them.”