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Strong Group brings in Quiambao, Topex, Escandor, CSB trio for Dubai meet


Familiarity will be key for Strong Group Athletics if it wants to rule the 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championship taking place from January 19 to 28, 2024, at Al Nasr Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

That is why, in forming the team, Charles Tiu made sure to tap locals who have instant chemistry.

Strong Group will bring in De La Salle University head coach Topex Robinson, reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player Kevin Quiambao, and Green Archers sniper Francis Escandor, pairing them up with College of Saint Benilde’s Allen Liwag, Tony Ynot, and Justine Sanchez.

“DLSU just won the college championship, so it made sense for us to bring in some of their players and merge them with ours at Benilde,” said Tiu, also the concurrent Blazers head coach.

“After all, we are One La Salle.”

This will be Quiambao’s second time playing in Dubai, as he was also part of the Strong Group team that finished in the quarterfinals a year ago.UAAP86-MBB-KEVIN-QUIAMBAO-0482 Strong Group brings in Quiambao, Topex, Escandor, CSB trio for Dubai meet Basketball CSB DLSU News  - philippine sports news

“Super happy na mapasama ulit sa team knowing yung roster is super loaded and talented. Yung gutom na makabawi is nandiyan para sa ‘min dahil yung league nga na sasalihan natin is best of the best,” said Quiambao.

“Bibigay ko yung best ko every game and kung anong matutulong ko sa team para makuha yung goal natin na magchampion, gagawin ko.”

Robinson, on the other hand, will join Tiu’s staff, which also has Brian Goorjian serving as team consultant.UAAP86-MBB-HC-TOPEX-ROBINSON-0857 Strong Group brings in Quiambao, Topex, Escandor, CSB trio for Dubai meet Basketball CSB DLSU News  - philippine sports news

“I’ve talked with Coach Topex about working together in the past, even before he got the DLSU job. We are good friends, and I am sure he will add a lot of value to us. He is a champion coach,” remarked Tiu about Robinson.

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Escandor, meanwhile, will play a key role for SGA, according to Tiu.

UAAP86-MBB-G2-Francis-Escandor-3194 Strong Group brings in Quiambao, Topex, Escandor, CSB trio for Dubai meet Basketball CSB DLSU News  - philippine sports news“Escandor is a good shooter, and we need a guy like him who can spot up and knock down shots since most of the teams will be focused on defending imports,” Tiu said about the Davao native.

With regards to the Benilde trio he will field, this will be a baptism of fire for them before the NCAA Season 100 wars begin.2023-Asiabasket-Dasmarinas-CSB-Blazers Strong Group brings in Quiambao, Topex, Escandor, CSB trio for Dubai meet Basketball CSB DLSU News  - philippine sports news

“We also wanted to give our newest Benilde recruits the experience of playing overseas and competing at a high level. So, we decided to include Ynot, Sanchez, and Liwag,” Tiu disclosed.

“They will have to fight for their minutes as they also play the same position as our imports. But this is good for their overall growth as players and is part of my thrust at CSB to continue developing guys as much as we can.”

Also part of SGA are Dwight Howard, Andray Blatche, Andre Roberson, and McKenzie Moore.

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