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Strong Group adds Kouame, Barefield, Balkman to roster


Strong Group Realty and Development Corp. continues to load up its roster for the 32nd Dubai International Basketball Championship.

A day after announcing the addition of Nick Young, the team added 6-foot-11 naturalized Filipino Angelo Kouame, point guard Sedrick Barefield, and ever-reliable Puerto Rican import Renaldo Balkman.

For team owner Jacob Lao, having Kouame was a no-brainer.UAAP-85-MBB-Finals-G3-ADMU-vs.-UP-ADMU-seniors-1507 Strong Group adds Kouame, Barefield, Balkman to roster Basketball News  - philippine sports news

“We are very thankful to Gilas and the SBP for allowing us to borrow Ange in this tournament,” said Lao as Kouame powered Ateneo back to the top of collegiate basketball back in UAAP Season 85.

“He’s my teammate and we just won in Ateneo, and hopefully we can win one more together.”

Kouame, 25, was the Season 84 MVP and 85 Finals MVP.

Meanwhile, Barefield is a 6-foot-2 floor general who Charles Tiu had wanted to handle since his days with Mighty Sports.
Fil-Am-Nation-Gopez-x-Barefield-x-Cabagnot-1 Strong Group adds Kouame, Barefield, Balkman to roster Basketball News  - philippine sports news
“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,” said Tiu as Barefield previously played in the G League.

“Our Filipino fans will see just how good this guy is.”

Barefield only played one game for T1’s Tainan TSG before being released.

Finally, Balkman was the go-to import of Tiu in Mighty.

Together they won gold in the 2019 Jones Cup and 2022 Dubai meet.2020-dubai-basketball-championship-mighty-sports-def-sale-renaldo-balkman Strong Group adds Kouame, Barefield, Balkman to roster Basketball News  - philippine sports news

“I’ve had two championships with Balk, and I want to try to keep on rolling. He says he’s been in shape and is very eager to come back to the Philippines to come finish his legacy here.”

Balkman has been playing in the Puerto Rican pro league over the past two years.

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