Strong Group only held its first full practice on Tuesday.
Angelo Kouame though has been sick while Cedrick Barefield is still banged up.
But there were three guards who stood out in the eyes of head coach Charles Tiu.
And on top of the list was Adamson University senior Jerom Lastimosa.
“Man, Jerome Lastimosa is really good,” said Tiu about Lastimosa, who was the UAAP Season 85 PSBankable Player of the Season — an award given to a student-athlete who had the most Player of the Game honors.
“Best point guard in college for sure. He’s so much better than I thought.”
“JD Cagulangan just got in today (Wednesday), straight to a tune-up game (versus Pampanga Royce Hotel) with no practice, and he looked pretty good,” he added.
“Quite envious of how good these guys are and they’re just in college!”
“Even our boss and team owner Jacob Lao has been playing and practicing and is more than holding his own,” said Tiu about Lao.
“It’s kinda cool how he can compete with these guys.”
The team that is also supported by Mighty Sports and Acrocity Guiguinto is set to leave the country in a couple of weeks.
Expectations are high for them as Strong Group will try to keep the title in the Philippines.
“Balkman has been our clear-cut leader and he is helping me a lot in forming our chemistry.”