Kai Sotto shrugs off hype, vows to work harder in Fiba Asia U18 | Inquirer Sports

Kai Sotto shrugs off hype, vows to work harder in Fiba Asia U18

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 05:06 PM August 03, 2018

The moment Kai Sotto’s lanky 7-foot-2 frame entered the international stage, Philippine basketball circles knew an immeasurable hype machine was born.

Sotto, however, proved that he’s more than a ballyhooed player producing the numbers that backed up his notoriety, as he became the center of the Mythical Team for the Fiba U16 Asian Championship in Foshan.


Batang Gilas’ then 15-year-old centerpiece put up 16.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 4.0 blocks, all of which were the highest marks for centers, during the competition but those numbers were against players who have yet to become 16-year-olds.


Sotto, who turned 16 on May 11, will now be playing on a new age group come the Fiba U18 Championship in Nonthaburi, Thailand but he knows it will still be business as usual for him come game time.

“I already felt the hype since I started playing basketball but what I do is just perform and do my job properly,” said Sotto in Filipino during the team’s send-off press conference Thursday at Crowne Plaza. “I just do what I need to do so I won’t think too much of the hype.”

“I became part of the team not to be known or to be famous, I did this to help the team succeed.”

And although Sotto is one of the younger players in the tournament, his stint in the Fiba U17 Basketball World Cup in Argentina was a valuable teacher.

Sotto was the second-best scoring center in Argentina putting up 16.4 points with 10.6 rebounds, and a tournament-leading 3.2 blocks.

“My experience in the past Fiba World Cup really helped me because the competition was at its highest and that is where you will really gauge yourself on where you’re at as a basketball player,” said Sotto.

“Of course for this U18 I’ll work harder and increase my efforts because I will be playing against older players and I’ll do my best to help my team win.”

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TAGS: Fiba U18 Asian Championship, Kai Sotto, Sports

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