Kouame and Abarrientos Set to Bolster Strong Group-Philippines at Jones Cup

Taipei, Taiwan – Strong Group-Philippines has enlisted Angelo Kouame and RJ Abarrientos to enhance its roster for the upcoming 43rd William Jones Cup, scheduled from July 13 to 21. The team’s aim is to leverage their skills in this prestigious international basketball tournament.

According to Philippines News Agency, a naturalized Filipino who has previously competed in the Jones Cup in 2018 and 2023, is eager for another chance to represent the Philippines. Kouame, who is currently playing for UB Chartres Métropole in France’s Nationale Masculine 1 league, expressed his enthusiasm about returning to the tournament, hopeful for victory. In his most recent season in France, he averaged 10.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks over 22 games.

Tiu also shared his anticipation of coaching Kouame, especially after an illness prevented Kouame from participating in the Dubai International Basketball Championship earlier this year, where the team finished as runners-up.

Abarrientos, a 5-foot-11 guard entering his second season with Japan’s Shinshu Brave Warriors, will be making his debut with Strong Group-Philippines at the Jones Cup. He shared his excitement about the opportunity to play alongside seasoned teammates and represent his country once more. Abarrientos was named Rookie of the Year while playing for Ulsan Hyundai Mobis in the Korean Basketball League’s 2022-23 season before moving to the Japanese league.

The team roster also includes notable players such as Kiefer Ravena, Jordan Heading, Caelan Tiongson, and Chris McCullough. Coach Tiu highlighted the importance of Abarrientos’s role, noting that securing his participation involved coordination for clearance from his Japanese team and agent.

With these strategic additions, Strong Group-Philippines is set to be a formidable contender at the Jones Cup, aiming to showcase their enhanced capabilities on the international stage.