Ex-PBA import McCullough reinforces Strong Group in Jones Cup

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Ex-PBA import McCullough reinforces Strong Group in Jones Cup
Chris McCullough

MANILA, Philippines – Former PBA champion import Chris McCullough, at last, is set for a Philippine return after five long years.

McCullough has been signed as one of the first reinforcements for Strong Group Athletics that will carry the flag in the 43rd William Jones Cup on July 13-21 in Taipei, the team announced Tuesday.

The 29-year-old import last played in the Philippines in 2019, leading San Miguel Beer to a championship in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

He was poised for multiple return tours of duty in the Philippines, including public clamor to be Gilas Pilipinas’ next naturalized player, since then. But injuries hounded him before proceeding to play South Korea, Lithuania, Bahrain and Taiwan.

But he’s back now.

"Hearing the clamor of fans for Chris in the Philippines is truly heartening, and it's something we've been keenly aware of for quite some time now,” said Strong Group Athletics president Jacob Lao.

“His arrival here is not just timely; it's the culmination of a journey eagerly anticipated by fans. We couldn't be more thrilled to witness the impact he'll undoubtedly make."

For McCullough, it’s a realization of his dream to finally return to the country and the fans he dearly embraced years ago.

"After so many years, it's truly surreal to be returning to the country. Even though it's just for a short while, the experience of flying back, training, and being in the Philippines again is going to be amazing," said McCullough, who averaged 18.8 points and 12.5 rebounds for the Formosa Dreamers in the P.League+ of Taiwan.

Listed at 6-foot-9, the versatile reinforcement will lead SGA that currently includes seasoned guards Kiefer Ravena, Jordan Heading and Caelan Tiongson.

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