Ange Kouame teams up with Nick Young for Strong Group team in Dubai tilt
MANILA. Philippines — Ange Kouame is set to see action for the Strong Group Realty Philippines team in the 32nd Dubai International Basketball Championship from January 27 to February 5.
After bringing back the glory to Ateneo with his Finals MVP performance in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament, the naturalized center will play for the team owned by his fellow Blue Eagle, Jacob Lao.
Kouame led the Blue Eagles in completing a series comeback against the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons to cap his UAAP career with a championship.
Lao, the young team owner, thanked the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas for allowing the 6-foot-11 center to play for them as they hope to win another title together in the Dubai tournament.
“We are very thankful to Gilas and the SBP for allowing us to borrow Ange in this tournament,” said Lao. “He’s my teammate and we just won in Ateneo. Hopefully, we can win one more together.”
Strong Group coach Charles Tiu announced that former NBA player Renaldo Balkman and Filipino-American guard Sedrick Barefield will also play for the Filipino squad, led by Nick Young.
Tiu seeks to win another title with the Puerto Rican, whom he coached when they earned two titles together for Mighty Sports.
“I’ve had 2 championships with Balk, and I want to try to keep on rolling,” the Strong Group coach said. “He says he’s been in shape and is very eager to come back to the Philippines to come to finish his legacy here.”
Tiu is also raring to coach Barefield, who last played for the Tainan TSG GhostHawks in Taiwan.
“I’ve actually been trying to get Barefield on my teams in the past and it just hasn’t worked out due to the timing amongst others but I’m really excited to have him right now. Our Filipino fans will see just how good this guy is,” he said.
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