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Strong Group adds young guns Manalili, Liwag, Ynot for Jones Cup

The future of Philippine basketball is set to be showcased by Strong Group-Pilipinas at the upcoming 43rd William Jones Cup, scheduled to take place from July 13 to 21, 2024.

Letran’s incoming freshman Jonathan Manalili, alongside Saint Benilde’s standout players Allen Liwag and Tony Ynot, will take part in this year’s mid-year basketball spectacle in Taipei, Taiwan, serving sas the young guns of Strong Group Athletics.

Jacob Lao, president of Strong Group Athletics, emphasized the team’s commitment to nurturing young talent.

“Having Jonathan, Allen, and Tony in our team is our way of helping develop the future of Philippine basketball. We always make sure to have young players in our team to give them an early glimpse of what international basketball is like,” said Lao.NCAA-99-Finals-G1-UPHSD-vs-CSJL-Titing-Manalili Strong Group adds young guns Manalili, Liwag, Ynot for Jones Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Manalili, the youngest of the trio at 19 years old, is a 6-foot Cebuano floor general who has already made a name for himself.

He was the NCAA Season 99 Juniors Basketball Most Valuable Player, leading the Letran Squires to back-to-back titles.

In his final year with the Squires, Manalili averaged an impressive 16.08 points, 6.92 assists, 4.23 rebounds, and 2.46 steals per game.

His first experience in the seniors’ ranks during the Filoil Ecooil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup saw him norm 11.0 points, 5.9 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.1 steals, guiding the Knights to a fourth-place finish, the highest among NCAA teams.2024-Filoil-CSB-def-SBU-Allen-Liwag Strong Group adds young guns Manalili, Liwag, Ynot for Jones Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Ynot and Liwag, on the other hand, were part of the Strong Group squad that finished second in the 2024 Dubai Basketball International Tournament.

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Liwag was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Blazers during the Preseason Cup, with averages of 13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds, while Ynot contributed 8.7 points, 3.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.

Strong Group Athletics head coach Charles Tiu is confident that this experience will benefit the young players in the long run.

“This will not only prepare Allen, Tony, and Jonathan for the upcoming NCAA Season 100 tournament but will also help them have a bright future in basketball,” Tiu stated.

Joining the young guns on the Strong Group-Pilipinas roster are seasoned players Kiefer Ravena, Rhenz Abando, Angelo Kouame, RJ Abarrientos, Jordan Heading, DJ Fenner, Chris McCollough, Caelan Tiongson, and Tajuan Agee.

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