Ange Kouame-reinforced Rain or Shine to represent PH in William Jones Cup

The PBA will be represented by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the upcoming 2023 William Jones Cup which will be held in Taipei, Taiwan from August 12 to 20.

The league has been invited to participate in the prestigious tournament, which will resume after a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rain or Shine’s participation in the tournament has already been approved by the PBA Board, according to PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, through chairman Ricky Vargas.

Marcial believes the Yeng Guiao-mentored squad, to be reinforced by naturalized Filipino Ange Kouame, has what it takes to compete against some of the best teams in Asia and the Middle East.

The timing couldn’t be better for the Raymond Yu and Terry Que-owned franchise, which is also looking to stay sharp during the league’s two-month hiatus to allow for the staging of the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

“We are honored not just to represent the PBA, but also the country in the Jones Cup. The high level competition will also help us to better prepare for the upcoming PBA season. We will give it our best shot and hope to bring honor to the country,” said RoS Board Governor and team manager Atty. Mert Mondragon.

The international level competition should also help the development of Guiao’s young core, which is headlined by Rey Nambatac, Anton Asistio, Gian Mamuyac, Leonard Santillan, Shaun Ildefonso, and Andrei Caracut.

Rain or Shine now has the task of continuing the Filipino teams’ success in the regional cagefest, with the Philippines having won a total of six titles in previous editions of the tournament.

The country first won the Jones Cup in 1981 with the Northern Cement team, and then again in 1985 with the San Miguel squad. The Philippine Centennial team won the title in 1998, and Gilas Pilipinas won it again in 2012.

Mighty Sports has won the country’s last two championships, first in 2016 and again in 2019, when a team led by Charles Tiu swept the tournament with an 8-0 record.

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