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Strong Group to don Philippine colors in Jones Cup

MANILA, Philippines – Strong Group Athletics will fly the flag in the 43rd William Jones Cup on July 13 to 21 in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has selected Strong Group as the country’s representative, expressing strong confidence and belief in the team’s capability to bring home back the crown from the regional invitational tourney.

With six titles, the Philippines is the second winningest country in the annual tilt next only to the United States with 16. The country’s last title came in 2019 courtesy of Mighty Sports while Rain or Shine as the country’s bet finished seventh last year.

The mission for redemption is now on SGA’s hands with coaches Charles Tiu and Rakjo Toroman leading the way.

“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,” said SBP executive director Erika Dy.

"We are grateful to the SBP 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,” added Lao.

This will be the second straight international joust for SGA after a runner-up finish in the 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championship earlier this year.

Led by a powerhouse squad featuring NBA veterans Dwight Howard and Andre Roberson, former Gilas Pilipinas center Andray Blatche, Justine Baltazar, Jordan Heading and UAAP MVP Kevin Quiambao, Strong Group swept its way to the finals only to absorb a 77-74 buzzer-beating loss to Lebanon’s Al Riyadi.

More than the Philippines, this tour of duty will also serve as revenge bid for Strong Group.

“We will form a team that will be ready to win it all and that Filipinos will be proud of,” said Tiu, who will announce the team roster soon.