Kai Sotto to join Gilas Pilipinas in next Fiba qualifying window
MANILA, Philippines—Kai Sotto signified that he will be making his senior debut and joining Gilas Pilipinas for the February window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers.
During a virtual press conference on Thursday, Sotto appeared in a video clip wherein he said that he’ll join the Philippines in its campaign in the continental competition.
“I will be joining the national team. I am excited. I hope we bring our best. This is a very special moment for all of us,” said Sotto during the presser announcing the partnership between Fiba and Smart.
The 7-foot-2 youngster is currently in the United States training with the NBA G League Ignite team in preparation for the developmental league’s coming 2021 season.
Already an established presence in the junior competitions, Sotto has yet to play in the senior level but the 18-year-old is seen as a big help for Gilas especially underneath.
Gilas have scheduled games against tormentor South Korea and Indonesia in the Clark bubble.
Tab Baldwin, the program director of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, said Sotto’s debut with Gilas is a welcome development but they still have to iron out his availability since lanky center is committed with Ignite.
“At this point, you’ve heard Kai and he said he’s going to be available. Obviously this is step one. We’d like to think that we have every belief that he would be there for February, but there are still discussions ongoing,” said Baldwin.
Gilas are atop Group A with a 3-0 record and it’s thanks to no small part to the team’s perfect two-game run in the November window in Manama, Bahrain with those two wins both coming against Thailand.
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