Strong Group-PH vows to keep fighting in tilt Dubai despite limited preparation

FILE–Strong Group Coach Charles Tiu.

FILE–Strong Group Coach Charles Tiu. Tristan Tamayo’s photo/

MANILA, Philippines – With Kevin Quiambao replacing Ange Kouame at the last minute, Strong Group Realty vows to do their best to represent the country despite limited preparations in the International Basketball Championship campaign The 32nd Dubai begins on Friday.

Strong Group coach Charles Tiu confirmed on Wednesday that UAAP Season 85 top rookie Quiambao from La Salle will replace Kouame, who was dropped from the tournament due to dengue.

The group considered Justine Brownlee and Andray Blatche, but neither of them showed up.

Tiu admitted their squad had a limited build-up for the tournament, barely participating in training sessions. But he promised that Strong Group would do its best to win the games.

“We are basically a university group with imports. We will try to win but it is difficult. Just today we finished the first. The boys are sick or injured,” Tiu said in a text message.

Some members of the delegation flew to Dubai on Wednesday, followed by the rest of the delegation on Thursday.

The Strong Group, owned by former Ateneo Blue Eagle Jacob Lao, opens in Dubai against the United Arab Emirates national team on Friday at 11pm (Manila time).

Former NBA player Young NickRenaldo Balkman and Shabazz Muhammad led the all-student team, which also included Justine Baltazar participating in the Korean Basketball League.

Completing the team were Adamson star Jerom Lastimosa, reigning NCAA MVP Will Gozum and Migs Oczon of St. Benilde, University of the Philippines newest rookie Francis LeBron Lopez and his teammates JD Cagulangan, Blue Eagles BJ Andrade and Inand Fornillos, and Sedrick Empty Fields.

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