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Draft prospect Tiongson desires PBA team that will take care of him

Photo courtesy of: Vyn Radovan

Caelan Tiongson entered his name in the 2024 PBA Draft last May, providing this year’s draft class with another star-caliber prospect.

The forward expects there will be a team that wants him and will take care of him. While he isn’t eyeing any squad in particular, he already has a relationship with coach Tim Cone of Ginebra. Could that be a factor?

“No real expectations. I just want a team at this point of my career, a team that wants me, a team that’s going to take care of me, for real. So, I’m open to go to any team and excited to be picked by any team.” The 32-year-old Tiongson shared when asked about his preferences.

Tiongson joined the Ginebra 3×3 team briefly under Coach Kirk Collier. The 3×3 and 5-on-5 teams share the same practice facility. That’s how Tiongson saw Cone and the rest of the Ginebra boys often and got an introduction to the daily grind of the PBA life.

In a prior interview with Rappler, Strong Group mentor Charles Tiu explained how Tiongson is an asset to the SGA team that will fly to Taiwan for the William Jones Cup later this month.

“He is a hard worker, tough and competitive, who is versatile and can play multiple positions, defend, and rebound very well,” Tiu articulated. “I think he will be a huge asset for our team.”

Tiongson emphasized that he is a team player and that’s the type of mindset teams who are interested in drafting him can expect in the PBA.

“At this point in my career, I think that I’m a smart player. I play [really] hard. I take my job real professionally.”

A versatile player, Tiongson believes he can play multiple positions, but sees his bread-and-butter role as a power forward.

He’s a solid defensive player, an accurate shooter, and a consistent playmaker. He was able to consistently produce for the Taoyuan Beer Leopards in the LEAGUE with an average of 13.5 points, 2.6 assists, 0.6 blocks. The 6-foot-5 power forward graduated from Biola University in 2017. 

The draft is set to take place on Sunday, July 14. Tiongson could miss out on the rookie selection process since SGA’s Jones Cup games will take place from July 13-21, but with the combine happening a few days before his departure, that could be the first opportunity to see how Tiongson fares against PBA-level opponents.

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