Jones Cup: McCullough to suit up for Strong Group

After a five-year wait, Chris McCullough, the PBA champion import, is set to make a triumphant return to the Philippines.

McCullough will don the jersey of Strong Group for the 43rd William Jones Cup, scheduled to take place from July 13 to 21, 2024, in Taipei, Taiwan.

Strong Group Athletics president, Jacob Lao, expressed his elation, stating, “Hearing the clamor of fans for Chris McCullough in the Philippines is truly heartening, and it’s something we’ve been keenly aware of for quite some time now. 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.”

Chris McCullough guarded by Don Trollano [PBA Images]
Chris McCullough guarded by Don Trollano [PBA Images]

For McCullough, the prospect of returning to the Philippines is a deeply gratifying one.

“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,” remarked McCullough.

After leading San Miguel to the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship, McCullough embarked on a global basketball journey, showcasing his talent across various leagues in Asia, Europe, and South America.

He went to Korea to play for Anyang, Lithuania to join Rytas Vilnius, Bahrain to suit up for Al-Ahli, and Puerto Rico where he played for Gigantes de Carolina.

Presently, McCullough plies his trade for the Formosa Dreamers in the P.League+, where he has been instrumental in their success.

Averaging 18.88 points and 12.5 rebounds in the regular season, McCullough has been a driving force for the Dreamers as they navigate through the ongoing semifinals.

Looking ahead to the Jones Cup, McCullough sees this as an opportunity to not only represent the Philippines but also showcase his skills as he approaches free agency.

“Not only is it exciting, but I’m also grateful for the opportunity. I’m representing the Philippines, and this is essentially like a job interview for me, as other teams will see me perform,” he stated.

Strong Group head coach Charles Tiu echoed McCullough’s sentiments, expressing his enthusiasm for the addition of the seasoned forward to the team.

“Chris McCullough has been on our radar for a while. Boss Jacob has been urging me to recruit him for some time, and I’m thrilled that he’ll finally be playing for us. He’s a winner and a force on offense. It was a no-brainer for us to bring him on board,” said Tiu.

“I also want to give a shoutout to Chris Ross for assisting in connecting us.”

McCullough joins a formidable roster at Strong Group, which includes standout players such as Kiefer Ravena, Jordan Heading, and Caelan Tiongson.

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