The third instalment of the NBA Africa Game lived up to expectations as NBA superstars were involved in a full throttle battle which went down to the final quarter. Fans at the Sun Arena in Pretoria were treated to a great spectacle as the game featured some of the best players in the NBA.
This year’s edition included the likes of Luol Deng (Los Angeles Lakers), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Serge Ibaka (Toronto Raptors), Rudy Gay (San Antonio Spurs), JaVale McGee (Los Angeles Lakers) and Harrison Barnes (Dallas Mavericks) among many other stars.
Team World defeated Team Africa 96-92 with Danilo Gallinari getting the MVP accolade after an impressive 23 point splurge. He was a perfect 3-3 from three point range, he also missed only one of 10 total field goal attempts to round off a ‘shooting clinic’ he displayed in the NBA Africa Game.
He also recorded 8 rebounds and 3 assists on the night. He had recorded 5 points in the first quarter to help Team World command a seven point lead after the first period, he had also recorded three defensive rebounds to start many of the team’s devastating fast break plays.
Gallinari made his presence felt on both ends of the floor and he endeared himself to the Sun Arena crowd (although they won’t admit it because they were cheering for Team Africa). As a result he obtained a well deserved MVP honor for his exploits, he ended the game as Team World’s leading scorer. The Italian will look to build on this morale boosting performance ahead of the 2018-2019 season.
Prior to the game the NBA stars had embarked on week long charitable events, including building homes for the less privileged. They also held basketball camps to aid young players with advice and coaching skills through the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders (BWB) initiative. High profile guests at the exhibition game included NBA legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dikembe Mutombo as well as Carmelo Anthony.