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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Coach Tiu taps 3 top scoring guards from collegiate ranks for Strong 5

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STRONG Group added Lebron Lopez and three other collegiate stars to its roster that has already been beefed up by three former National Basketball Association (NBA) players and a spitfire Filipino-American guard.

Strong Group is bound for the 32nd Dubai International Championship set from January 27 to February 5 in the United Arab Emirates.

Besides Lopez, team owner Jacob Lao announced the inclusion of University of the Philippines’ Joel Cagulangan, Adamson University’s Jerom Lastimosa and College of St. Benilde’s Miguel Oczon.

“We all know JD [Cagulangan] can make big shots and lead a championship team— he’s been doing it for a while now,” Lao said. “I’m just excited for him to showcase his talents as he gets the chance to represent the country.”

Lao thanked Gilas Pilipinas management for allowing Lopez to suit up for the team that aims to keep the crown to a Philippine club team.

Mighty Sports completed a grand sweep of the title three years ago to become the first club team outside of the Middle East to win the event.

“Great talent. Still raw but we are hopeful we can give him the opportunity to improve himself and gain some experience,” Strong Group Coach Charles Tiu said.

Tiu is convinced that the team is “already good enough” but his main concern is developing team chemistry inside a three-week window.

Tiu said Cagulangan, Oczon and Lastimosa adds excitement to the team’s goal.

“I love shooting guards and we are thankful they [their schools] allowed them to play for us,” he said. “Hopefully they will improve further playing with and against some great players.”

The team is reinforced by former NBA star Nick Young, ex-Philippine Basketball Association imports Shabazz Muhammad and Renaldo Balkman, the same player who helped Mighty Sports win the title the last time and Filipino-American Sedrick Barefield.

Also in the lineup are Korean Basketball League-bound Justine Baltazar, National Collegiate Athletic Association MVP and College of St. Benilde forward Will Gozum and former Ateneo stars BJ Andrade and Inand Fornillos.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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