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Mikey Williams unlikely to join Strong Group for Dubai event

Mikey Williams is a no-show for Strong Group in practice, prompting the team to move on from him. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Just when many thought Mikey Williams' redemption arc was coming after he was rumored to join Strong Group for the Dubai International Basketball Championship, coach Charles Tiu said that Philippine basketball's current "prodigal son" somehow pulled the plug on it.

Tiu said on Wednesday that the team decided to move on from Williams as the embattled guard looks to make a PBA return with TNT.

"I don't think Mikey will be part anymore, unfortunately. I think he still has some talks with TNT," Tiu said when Strong Group's practice was opened to the media at the Urdaneta Village Covered Court in Makati.

Tiu, however, bared that Williams' latest answer to them was somehow curt.

"We've been waiting for his answer. He said he's still trying to get some clearance, so I think it's best that we decide to play it safe and make sure he doesn't get any trouble. After all, his PBA career is more important, so we decided to move on," Tiu further said.

Williams was controversial last year after he suddenly left the Tropang Giga at the end of the previous PBA season after reportedly activating a renegotiation clause on his contract.

Tiu bared that Strong Group really wanted to recruit Williams for this year's DIBC in hopes that he could prove that he still got game.

"It's a shame because he's actually one of the first guys I reached out to, my number one choice to be the point guard of this team, but it is what it is," Tiu further said.

"He would have been a great addition to the team."

Hours later, though, Strong Group team manager Jacob Lao lashed out at Williams, saying that he suddenly disappeared after agreeing to terms.

According to Lao, they had already agreed on the salary Williams would get for playing in the DIBC but he never went to practice since Day 1.

With that said, Strong Group decided to move on and bring back JD Cagulangan and sign up Jordan Heading and Tony Ynot to become the team's point guard rotation.

Tiu said that Heading was to arrive on Wednesday and would join the practices beginning Friday since the team will be taking Thursday off.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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