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Lebron Lopez signs with Overtime Elite

Lebron Lopez is taking his talents to the Overtime Elite league. FIBA/Paul Ryan Tan (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Lebron Lopez is turning pro.

The 18-year-old wunderkind is taking his talents to the newly founded Overtime Elite league after his signing was announced on Tuesday night.

“We’re delighted to have Lebron join the OTE family as we expand our international reach, bringing in top talent from across the globe,” said Brandon Williams, OTE's head of basketball operations.

The former Ateneo Blue Eaglet was recently in action during the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on June 18.

He played quality minutes off the bench in Gilas Pilipinas' blowout win against Indonesia, making eight points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block, which impressed Williams a lot.

“Francis is a young man who has impressed us with both the combination of pure passion for the game and self-improvement, physical athleticism, work ethic, as well as many leadership intangibles. He’s the kind of player we want and expect to thrive at OTE,” he further said.

Former NBA veteran Kevin Ollie, OTE's head of player development, added, “He’s a young man with a ton of potential and we’re building a program for him that will develop his game more completely, so that he can achieve his dream of a professional career and as a leader on the Philippines national team for years to come.”

The six-foot-five Lopez became the fifth international player signed to the OTE, joining Jean Montero of the Dominican Republic, Alexandre Sarr of France, Nathan Missia-Dio of Belgium, and Emmanuel Maldonado of Puerto Rico.

The new OTE league looks to become an alternative for young basketball players aiming to carve a professional basketball career aside from the NBA G-League Ignite program.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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