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Baltazar, Heading bolster Strong Group’s Dubai team


Former Gilas stalwarts Justine Baltazar and Jordan Heading are set to join Strong Group Athletics for the 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championship.

The tournament is scheduled to take place from January 19 to 28, 2024, at Al Nasr Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

A holdover from last year’s team, Baltazar brings with him an impressive track record.2021-king-abdullah-cup-gilas-vs-egypt-justine-baltazar Baltazar, Heading bolster Strong Group's Dubai team Basketball News  - philippine sports news

The 6-foot-9 La Salle standout recently led the Pampanga Giant Lanterns to victory in the 2023 MPBL championship.

His outstanding performance earned him the tournament MVP title, boasting averages of 17.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game.

Coach Charles Tiu expressed his enthusiasm about Baltazar’s addition, stating, “Balti is great. He runs the floor well, has a really good attitude, can rebound, defend, and score. He will be a big help to our team as a local big man.”

FIBA-WCQ-Gilas-vs.-LBN-Jordan-Heading-5366 Baltazar, Heading bolster Strong Group's Dubai team Basketball News  - philippine sports newsMeanwhile, Heading, a pivotal piece for Nagasaki Velca in the previous B.League season, joins SGA to bolster the team’s guard depth.

His contributions were instrumental in Velca’s promotion to B.League Division I. Heading averaged 13.4 points, 3.6 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals.

Tiu commented on Heading’s addition, saying, “Jordan, we really needed another guard and shooter. I think Jordan fits the bill. It will be my first time working with him, but we gave him a call, and he was interested to come. Very easy to talk to, and we look forward to having him on our team. He played great in Japan last season, and I’m sure he will end up there again after this short stint.”

Baltazar and Heading join an impressive lineup, including Kevin Quiambao, Dwight Howard, Andray Blatche, Andre Roberson, McKenzie Moore, JD Cagulangan, Francis Escandor, Tony Ynot, Justine Sanchez, and Allen Liwag.

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The coaching staff includes consultant Brian Goorjian and assistant coaches Topex Robinson and TY Tang.

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