Asian basketball

Geo Chiu beefs up Strong Group frontline in Jones Cup

Rappler.com

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Geo Chiu beefs up Strong Group frontline in Jones Cup

PIVOTAL. Ateneo's Geo Chiu in UAAP action.

UAAP

Big man Geo Chiu says he’s glad to link up again with his former Ateneo teammates in the stacked Strong Group squad set to compete in the Jones Cup in Taiwan

MANILA, Philippines – It will be an Ateneo reunion of sorts for Geo Chiu as he joins the Strong Group-Philippines squad set to compete in the 43rd Jones Cup. 

The 6-foot-9 Chiu links up again with former Blue Eagle teammates Dave Ildefonso, Ange Kouame, and Strong Group president Jacob Lao for the Taipei tourney set from July 13 to 21.

“This will be a chance for us not just to reunite but also to make our country proud,” said Lao, who described their group’s relationship as “super close.”

Since winning a UAAP championship together in 2022, three of them brought their acts overseas with Ildefonso playing with Suwon KT in the Korean Basketball League, Kouame with UB Chartres Métropole in France, and Chiu with the Taiwan Mustangs in the Asian Tournament.

Lao, meanwhile, went on to become the team manager of PBA squad Converge.

Chiu, who just played for the Mustangs in a tuneup game against Gilas Pilipinas on Monday, June 24, said he’s “extremely happy’ to be back.

“I treat them as my kuyas (big brothers), and I’m glad to have the chance to be teammates with them again,” he said. 

“Ever since Ateneo, they’ve been mentoring me on and off the court. Now that they have experience playing professionally, I’m sure I will learn a lot from them,” Chiu added 

“Just being able to share the court with them already makes me very happy. That’s an opportunity that doesn’t come around often, so I’ll make sure to make the most of it.”

Chiu beefs up a frontline that includes Chris McCullough, Tajuan Agee, Allen Liwag, and Caelan Tiongson. 

“I’ll learn a lot before the next chapter of my career,” said Chiu.

Strong Group, mentored by Charles Tiu, looks to deliver the Philippines’ seventh Jones Cup crown with a formidable cast that also includes overseas standouts Kiefer Ravena and Rhenz Abando, Fil-Aussie sniper Jordan Heading, former Korea and Japan pro player RJ Abarrientos, Fil-Am DJ Fenner, and NCAA players Tony Ynot and Jonathan Manalili. – Rappler.com

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