Rain or Shine has been selected to proudly represent the Philippines in the upcoming William Jones Cup, scheduled to take place from August 12 to 20 in Taiwan.
Confirming the team’s participation, Rain or Shine’s team governor, Atty. Mamerto Mondragon, announced that they have received an official invitation from the tournament organizers. The decision to join the prestigious basketball event was supported by PBA commissioner Willy Marcial and league chairman Ricky Vargas.
“We have received a gracious invitation from the organizers of the Jones Cup. Our team owners have also held discussions with the commissioner of the PBA regarding this opportunity. It is indeed an honor for us to represent our country,” stated Mondragon in an interview with The Manila Times on Tuesday.
Mondragon further revealed that Ange Kouame, the former Ateneo standout and Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player, will join the Rain or Shine team as a reinforcement. Following discussions with Gilas team manager Butch Antonio, it has been confirmed that the 25-year-old Kouame will be loaned to Rain or Shine as their import for the tournament.
“Ange has been released from his duties with Gilas to compete for our team,” he affirmed. “This will provide an excellent platform for our team to test their skills and further develop.”
Kouame is one of the three naturalized players in the Gilas pool, alongside Justin Brownlee and Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson.
The Jones Cup makes a comeback after a three-year hiatus caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic that emerged in 2020.
This will be Rain or Shine’s first time representing the Philippines since their core players competed for the national team during the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
With a young core comprising Rey Nambatac, Leonard Santillan, Andrei Caracut, Gian Mamuyac, and supported by veterans Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood, Rain or Shine aims to further develop their skills and utilize this tournament as preparation for the upcoming 48th season of the PBA, set to commence on October 15.
Having secured victory in the 2016 and 2019 editions with Mighty Sports as the national representatives, mentored by Charles Tiu, the Philippines will seek to add another triumphant chapter to their Jones Cup history.