Jerom Lastimosa, JD Cagulangan impress Charles Tiu after Strong Group run

Jerom Lastimosa, JD Cagulangan impress Charles Tiu after Strong Group run

Jerom Lastimosa, JD Cagulangan impress Charles Tiu after Strong Group run

FALLING SHORT. Charles Tiu and Strong Group crash out of the quarterfinals in the Dubai International Basketball Championship.

Strong Group

Adamson’s Jerom Lastimosa and UP’s JD Cagulangan make quite an impression after holding their own against taller and heftier guards in the Dubai International Basketball Championship

MANILA, Philippines – UAAP star guards Jerom Lastimosa and JD Cagulangan impressed head coach Charles Tiu even as Strong Group fell short of its title bid in the 32nd Dubai International Basketball Championship.

Teaming up with former NBA players Nick Young, Shabazz Muhammad, and Renaldo Balkman, Adamson’s Lastimosa and UP’s Cagulangan made quite an impression after holding their own against taller and heftier guards.

“Jerom Lastimosa was great, they could not really guard him here and he improved defensively and adjusted as the tournament progressed. He is really good,” Tiu said.

Lastimosa reportedly received offers to turn professional overseas but opted to stay in the UAAP to play his final year with the Soaring Falcons.

“Cagulangan was a menace defensively, and although he was smaller than everyone, he never backed down. I’m sure he will have learnings on what to improve in his game,” Tiu said.

Tiu added that the Dubai tiff will be beneficial for the growth of his young wards, including Francis Lopez, Kevin Quiambao, Will Gozum, and Migs Oczon.

“I think overall it was a good experience for our young players, seeing the competition here, being around high-level basketball teams, and competing against them,” said Tiu.

Tiu also took satisfaction in the improved play of Justine Baltazar, whose overseas plans have hit a snag.

Baltazar, who left the Japan B. League after barely seeing action for the Hiroshima Dragonflies, reportedly had his Korean Basketball League contract terminated by the Samsung Seoul Thunders for his failure to show up.

“I am happy that Balti got to play again and got some confidence back. He was looking like a completely different guy when we were practicing but slowly looked like the old Balti we knew as the tournament went on,” said Tiu.

Strong Group finished the group stage with a 3-1 record, then crashed out of the quarterfinals after bowing to Wael Arakji and Lebanese squad Al Riyadi Beirut. – Rappler.com

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