Asian basketball

Chris McCullough returns to PH, commits to Strong Group for 2024 Jones Cup

Philip Matel

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Chris McCullough returns to PH, commits to Strong Group for 2024 Jones Cup
Even after failing to attract Gilas' attention for a possible naturalization, former San Miguel import Chris McCullough returns to the Philippines to play for Strong Group Athletics in the Jones Cup in July

MANILA, Philippines – Chris McCullough will get to represent the Philippines after all as he was signed by Strong Group Athletics to play for their team in the upcoming 43rd William Jones Cup this July.

McCullough, a one-time PBA champion with the San Miguel Beermen, initially expressed willingness to be naturalized to play for Gilas but talks eventually fell through.

He will join Kiefer Ravena, Caelan Tiongson, and Jordan Heading in the tournament, to be held from July 13 to 21 in Taipei, Taiwan.

“After so many years, it’s truly surreal to be returning to the country. Even though it’s just for a short while, the experience of flying back, training, and being in the Philippines again is going to be amazing,” McCullough said through a press release on Tuesday, May 28.

This follows his stint in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, where the Beermen took down Terrence Jones and the TNT KaTropa in six games, with McCullough scoring 35 points and hauling in 12 rebounds in the close-out 102-90 Game 6 triumph.

He then bounced around the globe, playing in other Asian leagues, as well as Europe and South America.

McCullough remains near Manila, playing for the Formosa Dreamers in the P.League+, where he averages 18.9 points and 12.5 rebounds.

“Not only is it exciting, but I’m also grateful for the opportunity. I’m representing the Philippines, and this is essentially like a job interview for me, as other teams will see me perform,” he said.

Strong Group head coach Charles Tiu also thanked Chris Ross, former San Miguel teammate of McCullough, for linking the two parties together.

“Chris McCullough has been on our radar for a while. Boss Jacob [Lao] has been urging me to recruit him for some time, and I’m thrilled that he’ll finally be playing for us. He’s a winner and a force on offense. It was a no-brainer for us to bring him on board,” said Tiu. –

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