MANILA, Philippines — Strong Group Athletics (SGA) coach Charles Tiu coach confirmed that Kevin Quiambao received a naturalization offer from the United Arab Emirates national team amid his stellar showing in the Dubai International Basketball Championship.
Tiu bared to the CNN Sports Desk on Tuesday that Quiambao met with the officials of UAE basketball to talk about their naturalization offers for the reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player.
“That is true. They’ve actually met with him maybe an hour ago. I haven’t seen him I don’t if he’s back yet. They’ve shown a lot of interest in him,” said the Strong Group coach during his guesting on the TV show.
In a team led by former NBA players Dwight Howard and Andre Roberson, Quiambao has been shining bright, leading Strong Group’s five-game sweep of the group stage in scoring with 19.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and three assists.
The Philippine side opened its campaign with an 82-66 rout of UAE, where the versatile forward tallied 13 points before he unleashed his best game of 24 points built on 6-of-6 three-point shooting in their 89-67 win over Syrian squad Al Wahda.
Tiu said that he and consultant Brian Goorijan have been marveling at Quiambao’s brilliance, following his amazing UAAP Season 86 campaign, where he emerged as a runaway top player of the season and became the Finals MVP after leading La Salle to a series comeback to beat University of the Philippines.
“I’m talking to coach Brian Goorijan. Kevin can really play. He’s got a great future ahead of him. There would be way more opportunities for Kevin, even a higher level of basketball. That’s how good we think he is. And he’s been really impressive,” he said.
SGA, which has La Salle coach Topex Robinson as part of Tiu’s coaching staff, will support Quiambao’s decision.
“Whatever he decides to do, we fully support him. It’s exciting for Kevin. I hope he can continue his stellar play and he’s gonna make waves. To me, he is too good for college basketball in the Philippines already,” Tiu said.
Quiambao already expressed his commitment to run it back with the Green Archers next season weeks after winning the UAAP championship.
It was also reported that Gilas Pilipinas cadet could get an opportunity to play with the New York Knicks in the Summer League, which was posted by SGA’s Public Relations Officer on his Instagram account. The video has since been deleted.
Can I just say, there is nothing about Kevin Quiambao and the Knicks right now. 0.
— Charles Tiu (@charlestiu) January 25, 2024
Tiu was quick to clear the air on X.
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“Can I just say, there is nothing about Kevin Quiambao and the Knicks right now. 0,” he wrote.
When a fan asked about the PR’s post, the SGA coach responded “he had no authority.”