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Dwight Howard To Bolster Philippines’ Strong Group Team As NBA Comeback Speculation Fuels

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8-time NBA All Star NBA Dwight Howard has reportedly joined the Philippines-based Strong Group as per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Dwight Howard could lead the Strong Group

It has been noted that the deal will run through the Dubai International Basketball Championship, which begins January 19 and concludes January 28 in the United Arab Emirates.

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Head coach Charles Tiu, the development was linked to a common friend, Andray Blatche. Tiu, who also coaches the College of St. Benilde Blazers in the NCAA Philippines, revealed that Blatche, a former NBA player like Howard, connected both camps.

“Andray Blatche played a crucial role in connecting us,” Tiu said.

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“Excited to be working with these guys. Andray Blatche and McKenzie Moore were both part of my previous championship team. While Dwight is obviously an NBA Hall of Famer and would be one of the best players ever to play tor a team in the Philippines,” Tiu said in a statement.

“Andre Roberson on the other hand is a proven NBA vet who will be a good guy for our team. I’ve had good conversations with the players and am excited for them to come,” he added.

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Andray Blatche was also roped in for Strong Group’s campaign in the Dubai International Basketball Championship. Another big name added to the team aside is Andre Roberson.

Roberson is popular for his defensive prowess, especially when he became the starting small forward for the OKC Thunder after Kevin Durant departed to join the Golden State Warriors.

Can’t rule out NBA return

Charania added that Howard is hopeful of playing in the NBA again. Dwight Howard worked out with the Golden State Warriors ahead of the 2023-24 season, and he jokingly lobbied for a spot on the Detroit Pistons amid their historic losing streak in December.

Howard last played in the NBA in 2021-22, and averaged 6.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 60 appearances. Unable to land with an NBA team last year, the veteran center joined the Taoyuan Leopards in Taiwan’s T1 League. He put up stunning numbers (23.2 PPG, 16.2 REB and 1.2 BLK). He was a T1 League All-Star and even selected to compete in the league’s Three-Point Contest.

As it seems, signing a short-term deal with the Filipino side, allows Dwight Howard keep the option open of returning to NBA.

Once the trade deadline ends on February 8, there is a possibility that the teams could be eyeing to rope in Dwight Howard.

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Bishal Roy
Bishal Roy
Bishal has been working with several renowned publications and has generated sports content for 3+ years. He expresses insightful opinions and analysis having the expertise in writing sports news articles. He has been mainly covering US sports such as NFL, NBA, MLB and more for the website. He also writes for SportsIndiaShow and MMA India. When not writing, he will binge-watch web series.
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