Future of PH basketball ‘very bright’ with Kai, Thirdy and Co.
MANILA, Philippines — For the country’s top centers, the Philippines’ lineage of big men is in good hands.
June Mar Fajardo and Poy Erram, two of the best centers in the PBA, said that Kai Sotto is the fitting heir to the big man’s throne in the Gilas program.
“Kai is there. He’s getting such amazing training and he could even train me,” said Fajardo in Filipino in “PBA Kamustahan,” an online show the league produced while the season is in hiatus due to COVID-19.
“For sure Kai is there also Isaac (Go), they’re the ones who’ll banner Gilas in the future,” said Erram in Filipino.
Gilas has been able to parade the PBA’s best centers since 2010 with the likes of Asi Taulava, Fajardo, Erram, Raymond Almazan, and Christian Standhardinger.
Yeng Guiao, the former Gilas Pilipinas head coach, even tabbed Sotto and another promising center in AJ Edu as part of the national team pool in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers.
Taulava, one of the PBA’s most dominant centers during his heyday, also has Sotto as one of the next best players in the program together with three-time UAAP champion Thirdy Ravena.
“Thirdy is there. He’s coming in. Thirdy and Kai, I think they’re going to be the one or two who’s going to be carrying the national team,” said Taulava, a one-time PBA MVP.
Ravena already had a taste playing for the Gilas Men in the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Sotto, however, is not the only big man that can potentially become a Gilas mainstay.
“For me, I think Isaac. I’ve known him since he was a teammate of mine in Mighty [Sports] and we were roommates,” said Rain or Shine big man Beau Belga. “I saw the work ethic of that kid.”
Erram said that once the old guard of Gilas retires, players such as CJ Perez, Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, and Robert Bolick are ready to take their places.
“We got a lot of guys coming in. It’s not just them. There’s a lot of prospects out there. We just can’t be close-minded about it and just focus about it. This generation’s pool is a lot bigger,” said Taulava.
“The future looks very bright. We’re leaving basketball in the good hands of these young players.”