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Strong Group to play in Jones Cup

Strong Group Athletics will represent the Philippines in the Jones Cup. SGA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Strong Group Athletics will be the Philippines' representative to the Jones Cup for 2024.

The Frank Lao-owned group confirmed on Tuesday that the club will join the said tournament in Taipei from July 13-21.

"We are grateful to the SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) for allowing us to compete in the prestigious William Jones Cup and bring joy to the overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan just like what we did in Dubai a few months ago," said Lao's son Jacob, who now acts as the team's president.

"Strong Group Athletics has been contributing to Philippine sports by supporting athletes and national sports associations (NSAs) such as the SBP. Mr. Frank Lao, his son Jacob, and Strong Group have shared their desire to bring back the Jones Cup championship trophy to the country and bring joy to Filipinos overseas," added SBP executive director Erika Dy.

"The SBP is thankful for their partnership in this Jones Cup mission."

Charles Tiu will once again lead the way for Strong Group with former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Rajko Toroman joining him again in the coaching staff.

"We will form a team that will be ready to win it all and that Filipinos will be proud of," said Tiu, who coached the last two Filipino teams to win it all in the Jones Cup, the 2016 and 2019 iterations of Mighty Sports.

"I am hoping to bring back the Jones Cup championship to the Philippines after some time. It would be a moment of immense pride for our nation, and we're committed to working tirelessly to make this dream a reality."

Last year, PBA club Rain Or Shine played in the Jones Cup but settled for seventh place after only winning two games.

According to SGA, it is "currently in the process of signing players for the tournament."

One option SGA can look into is recruiting some players from the Manila Stars, which they currently bankroll, all the more that seven-foot former PBA Best Player of the Conference Greg Slaughter has already joined the team's practices.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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