Kai Sotto on his way to PH, set to join Gilas bubble after quarantine
MANILA, Philippines — The long anticipation will be over soon as Filipino wunderkind Kai Sotto is set to make his homecoming this Tuesday.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Al Panlilio said Sotto is expected to arrive in the Philippines either Tuesday afternoon or later in the evening.
“He boarded the plane yesterday. He’s arriving today in Manila,” Panlilio said. “I just hope he didn’t miss his connecting flight since his departure was delayed, but as of the moment, I know he’s arriving if not this afternoon, this evening.”
“In fact, he sent me a picture that he was in the plane with Ervin (dad). So he’s already en route.”
But the 7-foot-3 Sotto will have to undergo a mandatory five to seven day quarantine period first before he is allowed to join the Philippine team pool inside the bubble at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
Sotto, 18, will have a lot of catching up to do.
Gilas Pilipinas has been training in the bubble since last month for the third and final window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers slated from Feb. 18-22.
“The sooner he can really come in, the better for him. Because he needs to understand the system that they’re trying to play and run,” said Panlilio.
“And also, you know, in basketball you need to develop chemistry with your teammates and you only do that if you’re able to practice with them,” he added.
The tournament will be held in Doha, Qatar after the Philippines was forced to cancel its hosting duties due to its travel ban imposed to limit the spread of the new COVID-19 strain.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.